Mashable, one of the top media outlets covering the web and its impact on global society, posted a terrific piece on how the social web is effecting real change in how doctors and patients engage and communicate with each other.
Patients have long used the web to seek out information on health and medicine. Personally, I think search was invented so we could look for how to figure out why [insert body part here] started hurting. So I wasn’t surprised to see that there’s been a more than 30% rise in web usage by US physicians in the last eight years.
My only question is this: why are so many doctors and other healthcare providers still reluctant to participate in the online conversation?
It’s true that, due to HIPAA compliance issues, healthcare has to use some real discernment when communicating on the web. Yet even those practices who are nervous about putting themselves on Twitter or Facebook could get some serious mileage out of building a secure patient portal to facilitate how patients schedule appointments, renew prescriptions, ask questions, report numbers (blood sugar, etc.), and review their records.
Yes, the web can make your activity transparent. However, a secure portal helps doctors, and their teams, be even more effective at helping their patients. Adding a social media presence to help educate the community at large is a good idea, too.
Not engaging online can cost a practice patients, and revenue. If you don’t know how to go about building an online presence for your practice, we can help. Need a secure patient portal? We can help there, too.
You don’t have to call us. Just make sure you call somebody – because your patients are talking about you. What are they saying? If you don’t listen, you’ll never know…