It seems no matter where you look on the internet the buzz this year has been about social media. Health care is no exception and there are many beating the band how valuable and perhaps essential it will become in the future.
Much of it will be dependent upon users preferences for efficiently using limited resources, the most important of which is time.
For physicians personally time is the most critical limiting factor. The use of social media is financially negligible unless one chooses a social media manager to direct it’s operations. The necessity for this is dependent upon how much resource your organization has to handle this task.
The capital investment is close to zero.
Physicians can easily acquire the knowledge on how to limit breaches in privacy and confidentiality, and that can be passed on to workers in training.
There is some reason to believe that social media adoption may be approaching it’s limits due to time constrictions for employed people. And doctor you fit in to that equation. Your best income producing time is in the clinic seeing patients, or in the surgery doing procedures.
Hands on marketing for professionals between professionals is best done hands on face-face, in meetings, making rounds, lecturing for CME, taking an ER patient that is difficult or challenging due to insurance issues. The referring physician will forever be grateful, you will help a patient (even if you have to later refer him to a public facility later) and you may get some patients from the source that is insured or will pay a reduced fee.
So in reality you are already in social media….the difference is social media is also on the internet..digital social media.
Most users already are aware of many forms of social media, the most common ones being twitter, and Facebook. These two are unique and function differently although the same information can be exchanged in different ways.
Twitter has become a means of announcing and reporting medical meetings broadcasting tweets using a hashtag assigned for that particular meeting, as I have previously reported in a previous blog. It may be advisable for those developing annual meetings to assign a # such as AMA11 to designate a 2011 American Medical Association meeting, then changing it to AMA12 for next years meeting. Different Academies may also use their abbreviations as such but should take care to be certain it has not already been pre-empted or users will receive some unwanted tweets.
Case in point. Your employee who has been handling your social media leaves and takes with her social media information which may be proprietary in nature or take with him (her) the following they have developed in your social media stream. Who owns the content? That may depend on the nature of the conversation? Was it friend to friend or was it medical, marketing or financial information belonging to the medical practice.
Legal counsel may be advisable and also a clear guideline in your employee manual in regard to content using your identification on Twitter, Facebook, Google + or any of the social media platforms
Courts Says Employer's Lawsuit Against Ex-Employee Over Retention and Use of Twitter Account can Proceed--PhoneDog v. Kravitz
Jeremiah Owyang ( A Web Strategist) of The Altimeter Group states the golden age of tech blogging may be over.
New models to emerge, long form content not the only way
Bloggers themselves know that relying on a single tool isn’t effective, they need a series of tools to use; “blogging isn’t dead. it may have gotten a LOT more social, and it may be less frequent now for those of us who also use Twitter / Facebook / Tumbler / YouTube for other distribution efforts, but the overall impact from these platforms together is BIGGER than ever before (and i maintain, also EASIER than ever before if you build it right).”