Adoption of Social Media by Healthcare Professionals: Optional or Necessary?

“Whether doctors choose to engage in social media or not, they cannot ignore its implications.” These were the emphatic words said by Pat Rich (@cmaer) during the Healthcare and Social Media Summit held last February 21, 2015.

Social media has changed the way we communicate and share information.  Healthcare is a field fueled by accurate and reliable information.  Social media is a good venue for patient education, patient support, health research, medical education and even fundraising for healthcare professionals (HCPs). It is likewise a good venue to obtain information, receive support and even track treatment progress for patients. It is inevitable that the synergy of healthcare and social media is happening.

As of January 2015, there are 40 million Filipinos who have active social media accounts each spending an average of 4 hours daily. That’s possibly 9.6 billion minutes spent on social media per day.  If it takes less than a minute to like or share content, imagine how much information can be exchanged!  It is mind-boggling!

Digital Media Statistics Philippines Internet Users 2015

Facebook Social Media Internet  Mobile Penetration

HCPs are life-long learners who have the responsibility to update themselves on the latest practice guidelines in order to give the best patient care.  Should this responsibility extend to learning how to communicate better and more efficiently with our community beyond our clinics and hospitals?

Let’s talk about why HCPs should engage in social media. Let’s explore the issues and challenges surrounding this and how we can address them. These are the topics we can discuss:

T1: Do healthcare professionals have the responsibility to engage in social media to communicate with their patients/community? Why or why not?

T2: What are the challenges of healthcare professionals in adopting social media in their practice? Why the hesitation?

T3: How do we address these issues/concerns? Should the initiative come from healthcare organizations or individual HCPs?

Let’s chat away on March 14, 2015, 9PM Manila time (8am EST).  Do not forget to use the hashtag #HealthXPH. We are looking forward to all your tweets!

Global Web Index Q4 2014 and We Are Social SG