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The ever increasing role of social media is evident in any field today. Health care professionals are facing challenges that the advent of social media has brought. We will explore the possibilities social media offer for healthcare communication.
Everybody is using social media nowadays: general public, patients either seeking the relief or being hospitalized, any health professional or a health organization.
The social media can be used in may ways for healthcare communication include:
All of these will necessarily expand, increasing usability and making possible even more opportunities to use social media in relation to health care in the nearest future. Patients, medical facilities, pharmacies, any healthcare professionals are in need of communication trainings targeting social media specifically.
Social media have an enormous amount of benefits for health care communication.
The benefits include:
While the benefits of using social media for healthcare are many-fold, the limitations need to be considered and addressed as well. In the end, getting a realistic picture of the role of social media in building efficient relationships among every participant of the healthcare industry, from a manufacturer of a pill to the end patient, is needed to prevent the disappointments.
The limitation of social media in healthcare include:
The management responsible for staff as well as human resources specialist need to develop social media training and implement these in the daily routine of any healthcare provider. We would recommend to embrace social media fully, but always with a specific purpose for each activity and platform. It is highly recommended to check with the IT-team if the traffic statistics and regulations are possible to implement at any social media platform that is being used. Regardless of the specialty or the amount of staff in the health care organization, it is readily doable at the moment. A healthcare organization is advised to create sensible guidelines any professional could adhere to when using social media platforms, whether communicating with a patient or with the peer colleagues.
Existing and newly emerging social media have the potential to enhance, embrace, and significantly improve other methods of communication and interaction among the general public, patients, health care professionals, and health care organizations.