The modern healthcare landscape is more different than generations past could ever have dreamed of. One of the key technologies for the contemporary healthcare user is social media. The proliferation of services in recent years has given providers more flexibility than ever before in figuring out ways to make contact with and support their patients.
We’ve compiled the following 4 ways that both patients and providers are benefiting from social media when it comes to navigating healthcare needs and concerns.
More informational awarenessBy keeping up with social media accounts run by healthcare providers, patients can now become more educated on general health topics on a daily basis. That way, they’re much more likely to recognize health issues when they occur and schedule a consultation with their primary care physician. There’s also been an increase of hospital-run podcasts that help inform listeners of the latest advancements in healthcare, helping to keep physicians in the loop when it comes to new innovations.
Quicker communication between provider and patientWe all know just how important regular checkups are, but it’s easy to forget to make those appointments or even attend them. Providers can now use social media to send reminders and enable easier scheduling for patients, in addition to sending out customized health information tailored to the needs of the individual. With all this information online, this drastically reduces the number of phone calls that patients must make to the doctor’s office, which also helps providers dedicate more time to the important work of treatment.
Spreading knowledge of disease support and preventionWhen a new disease hits the scene, it can never be too soon to get educated. Thanks to services like Twitter and Facebook, healthcare providers can now alert the public to diseases such as Zika that much sooner. Foundations for causes such as AIDS and cancer research can use social media to garner more support and awareness, as well.
Accountability to patientsIn the healthcare industry, there’s always the risk of mistakes being made. When that happens, the faster providers can respond via social media to rectify the mistake, the more patient satisfaction improves. And using social media, patients can compare notes on providers and rate the best ones in the area, a process that previously was done word-of-mouth and excluded newer members of the community.
Healthcare has become a more efficient process over the years. Part of the driver for that change has been the increased communication possibilities engendered by social media. With social media in one’s toolkit, there’s no reason not to achieve the best healthcare experience possible for patients.