Social media has had a transformational impact on the US healthcare industry. Payers as well as healthcare professionals are making use of smartphones and tablets to engage with patients through this platform. This has brought tremendous change in the outcomes and delivery of healthcare interventions in the US.
Why is Social Media Taking Justify-stage?
With the advancement in digital technologies, the impact of social media on patient engagement has started taking centre-stage. This new change is being propelled by patient demand and mobile technology. Patients have become more empowered and digitally demanding, making it important for doctors to engage with them through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Doctors have started using these sites for offering reliable, up-to-date, easy-to-understand information. Since patients trust the clinicians, use of social media by healthcare professionals has helped achieve better healthcare outcomes.
- Physicians have started using online resources more than print when making clinical decisions
- Usage of social media websites increased from 67% in 2012 to 72% in 2013
- In the UK, the fourth most popular source of health information is Facebook
- On an average, three hours per week is spent by physicians watching online videos for professional purposes
- Greatest amount of attention to specific diseases in the US is received through social media
Growth of Social Media in the US Healthcare Industry
According to a survey by Mediabistro, approximately 40% consumers pay great attention to the healthcare information found via social media. It helps them deal with their health in a better manner.
Industry experts are of the view that there is an obligation on healthcare professionals to offer informative content through social media. This is required to inform the patients or consumers about health related issues and help them avoid misleading data about diseases out there on the Internet.
As per the Mediabistro survey, around 54% patients are O.K. with the fact that their doctor seeks advice from online communities to treat their health condition in a better manner.
Patients Have Become More Aware
As per a recent survey, the social media plays a vital role in affecting the choice of patients in terms of choosing a certain hospital, doctor or medical facility. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. have become a vehicle for positive as well as negative promotion for healthcare organizations. Apart from helping patients deal better with their healthcare conditions, the social media platform has also become essential for attracting and retaining patients.
Due to this, it is getting increasingly important for doctors, private practices and hospitals to use social media for engaging with more patients and offering them the best in terms of healthcare services or information. Even billing companies like MedicalBillersandCoders.com have their presence on social media. Since MBC offers effective billing solutions to 42 specialties across all the states in the US, it has become important for the company to interact with clients, retain skilled coders and billers, and also find prospective customers through this networking platform. MBC also uses sites like Twitter and LinkedIn to answer billing or healthcare-related queries posted by users.