There is no doubt that social media has fundamentally changed the patient to patient and patient to provider communications relationship for the healthcare industry. The advent of transparent, real time social media communications platforms that allow open and honest dialogue presents a wealth of opportunities for the industry to capitalize on positive patient sentiment and build a trusted support community to actively engage with. Many healthcare entities are also using social media to build and cultivate a team of patient evangelists who can be subsequently leveraged to spread good will and build brand equity to help maintain trust and confidence in health care services. 1
Social media can make a huge impact in the healthcare industry. Social media can provide patients an opportunity to easily interact with phsicians, nurses, and other patients. Twitter can allow patients to interact and discuss conditions and expeirences in real time. This can lead to debates and disucssions and can provide a better patient engagaement experience. When patients are more involved in online communities, they are more aware of their disease process and are more likely to make lifestyle changes and are more amendable with their medicines. I have used twitter chats and I found them to be a great way to create virtual support groups. I’ve seen a lot of these groups with similar medical problems. Online communiities are a great way to connect patients-when patients connect, they are able to support one another and hold each other accountable-just as with a exercise buddy at the gym, this accountability and buddy system works well for improving compliance.
1-“Social Media and Healthcare: Opportunities and Obstacles.” PwC.