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Jul 22

The Role of Social Media in Healthcare: Benefits

If you were to poll the room around you, how likely is it that you would find an individual that doesn’t have any form of social media? If I were to guess, I would say the likelihood is pretty slim. Social media influences many aspects of our day-to-day lives. It impacts what brands we buy, where we shop, how we communicate with loved ones, and the lens with which we view the world around us. For those reasons, many people find themselves immersed in the information these platforms provide. As a clinician, the reliance on social media by patients poses challenges but it also presents benefits.  Let’s take a look at the role of social media in healthcare at a bit of a deeper level.

Benefits of Social Media in Healthcare

Social media creates benefits for practices that utilizes the platforms to their advantage. If a clinic chooses to remain consistent in posting relevant, concise information, they will likely thrive. Social media profiles cannot simply be created for your organization and then left to rot.. This looks awful for organizations and leaves your practice open for bad reviews. What’s worse…  no one at your practice will see these negative remarks if no one moderates the profile.

Promoting Your Practice

It goes without saying that social media provides a platform for you to promote your business. You are able to quickly keep your patient base up-to-date on any changes to office hours, personnel, or protocols. Outside of this, patients are able to easily find your office online, view any information that that you post, and read online reviews left by other patients. Most individuals are on social media, which means that people are likely to look up your organization on these platforms. It is important that they can find your practice and that the information provided on your page is accurate. According to information shared by Powerfulpatients.org, 60% of patients trust the information shared by care providers. This means that sharing well thought out content from your healthcare team could be beneficial to maintaining and increasing your patient base.

Health Education

As stated above, patients tend to believe information disseminated by doctors. This makes social media a great platform to share case studies and healthcare newsletters created by your team! If you have a team that is able to produce worthwhile information, sharing on social media is a great opportunity for your practice. Here are a few types of health education pieces that your team can share…

  • Healthcare tips and recommendations (how to get a better night’s sleep by reducing screen time before bed, etc.)
  • Health discoveries made by your team
  • Research that your team is currently performing
    • Or sharing research that your team has found that is shareworthy
  • Relevant healthcare industry news

Challenges of Social Media in Healthcare

When there are benefits, challenges often follow, and with social media this rule is no different. Social media provides many benefits for a practice but it also open a practice up to scrutiny, provides excess work, and presents a HIPAA risk if providers aren’t careful in the information that they post online. In our next blog, we will discuss the challenges of social media in healthcare. We will focus on the following hurdles:

  • HIPAA: Patient Data Privacy Concerns
  • Managing Social Media Content
    • Professionalism
  • Responding to Negative Reviews

If you are looking to have your business found online, but don’t have the manpower to tackle this project yourself, there are partners able to help. Demandforce is an all-in-one marketing service that can take your practice’s marketing to the next level. Learn more today.

Are you ready to learn more about Demandforce and practice marketing? Visit us at micromd.com/marketplace or call us at 800.624.8832.

About the author,
Savanna Adams

Savanna is the Marketing Communication Specialist at Henry Schein MicroMD. She schedules emails to clients, prospects, and VARs, manages social media accounts, performs SEO research, writes blogs and eBooks, and much more while helping to support the simple yet powerful MicroMD solutions.

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