Social Media as a Tool in Concierge Medicine

Social media is becoming more and more dominant in the daily lives of both patients and private physicians. We use social media to read news, share pictures, and keep in touch with family and friends. Business has realized that social media can be leveraged to engage users to entice them to become customers, but where does concierge medicine fit in?

Concierge Medicine is a patient centered discipline, not only in the care provided, but also in the business model. A concierge doctor must provide his patients with a pleasing and desirable interaction both in the office and in the social media world. When patients are curious about concierge medicine, or looking to find a concierge doctor, they will turn to the internet where they will find news stories, blogs, advertising, and websites along with the social media feeds they receive in their accounts. A concierge doctor that presents a lively, engaging, brand that is focused on their ideal patients in these spaces will reap the benefits: lots of  happy new patients. Social media can be used effectively to share a concierge medicine practice’s message through all of these venues.

There are no silver bullets in social media marketing. Good focused target market data, positive clear practice message, sound business practices and good old fashioned customer service will succeed even with a modest investment of an hour a day. Please take the time to read the following article in its entirety. The article is an in-depth look and social media and medicine, it will serve as a base line as you move into the world of social media.

Social Media as a Tool in Medicine
Social Media and Clinical Care
Ethical, Professional, and Social Implications

Katherine C. Chritien, MD and Terry Kind , MD, MPH

Introduction

It is an exciting time to practice medicine during our digital “coming of age.” Social media, the freely available Web-based platforms that facilitate information sharing of user-generated content, such as social networking sites, media-sharing sites, blogs, microblogs, and wikis, have transformed the way we communicate as a society. Through community building, message amplification, rapid dissemination, and engagement, social media has changed our interactions with others and, by direct consequence, our relationships. For health care, this represents a veritable social revolution. 1

Indeed, medicine is constantly evolving to adapt to new technologies. These advances have led to new therapies, diagnostic tools, and ways of communicating. As physicians and lifelong learners, it has been imperative to embrace the new when it has meant better and more efficient patient care while holding on to the stable tenets of medicine that root our profession: humanism, integrity, ethics, professionalism, and trust.

Patients have been active on social media to find health information, find support through discussion groups and forums, and chronicle their illness journeys.2 Naturally, they are also interested in using social media to facilitate communication between themselves and their providers. In a survey of patients of an outpatient family practice clinic, 56% wanted their providers to use social media for appointment setting and reminders, diagnostic test results reporting, health information sharing, prescription notifications, and answering general questions.3 For those patients who do not use social media, many would start if they knew that they could connect with their providers there.3

Physicians are also exploring ways to use social media, both personally and professionally, although personal use is more common.4–6 Some physicians use social media professionally to find and share health information, communicate/network with colleagues and trainees, disseminate their research, market their practice, or engage in health advocacy. In addition, a growing minority use social media to directly interact with patients or in other ways that augment clinical care.

In this article, we review ways that social media are being used for clinical care and the potential implications that this has on ethics, professionalism, and society. As with all innovations and technological leaps forward, it is time to be mindful and reflective of our professional commitments while discovering better ways to engage and care for our patients.

FULL ARTICLE

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/127/13/1413.full

Concierge Medicine Journal (CMJ) will regularly provide information on the issue of health care social media, or #HCSM in the world of social media. Check out the conversation around #HCSM and #conciergemedicine or start a hashtag of your own today.

About Concierge Medicine Journal

Concierge Medicine Journal (CMJ) curates breaking concierge medicine news, and editorial opinion on a wide variety of topics relevant to the practice of Concierge Medicine.

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