Social media has a profound impact on every aspect of our lives be it communication, travel or healthcare. Every industry is making use of social media, in some way or other and healthcare is no exception. Mobile phones and applications play a crucial role in our lives by allowing people to research symptoms, medications, doctors etc. Social media has become a major tool for sharing healthcare related information, including opinions on different therapies, reviews about doctors, people’s experiences with illness and many more. Internet provides plethora of health related information at our fingertips and many of that information is consumed through social media.
Impact of Social Media on Healthcare Providers
Healthcare providers are significantly benefitted by the social media. It helps them not only in social networking but also in patient education and information sharing. A number of practitioners have claimed that social media usage has helped them in their career advancement and staying updated about the latest findings and information. However, there are a few hindrances in this aspect too which include time requirements, employer backlash, fear of saying something wrong, and being unversed with the technology. Still social media is perceived as a tool for getting low-cost health information and as an opportunity to reach out to relevant communities. Some of the providers have also claimed that social media helps them improve the quality of healthcare. However, for healthcare providers too, social media is not risk free. Indulgence in social media should be in compliance with HIPAA regulations. Also, there could be legal as well as ethical issues for the usage of social media by healthcare providers.