April 07, 2012
Social Media is developing into a tool not just for communication and entertainment but is also emerging as a powerful instrument for marketing and efficient coordination. Hospitals, group practices, clinics and even solo practices have started to reap the benefits offered by social media networking. The implementation, control and fruitful use of social media in practice settings, especially in hospitals, can enhance the revenue of the hospital along with the quality of care that is provided. The various methods of incorporating social media into your practice or hospital are not limited to just tweets or the Facebook status but has taken a new meaning for networking in hospitals and small practices.
Social media can also be used for keeping in touch with patients through secure and simple channels such as the use of e-mails in eRxs and such other data. Many social media websites can be used for education of patients and the scope of utilization is immense due to the presence of so many specialties and branches in medicine along with newer and innovative social media sites as well. On the other hand there are physician networks across the internet dedicated to discussion about clinical issues and the problems faced by physicians and their solutions.
Some ways that your healthcare organization can use social media: Share data with patients, share information with referring physicians, share information with workers or employees, create / augment consciousness of your brand, boost patient recruitment, train patients, and develop customer service in order to increase the bottom line.
However, the most important aspect as far as interaction between patients and physicians or providers is privacy and this is one of the biggest challenges presented by the use of social media. Even though physicians and patients can use smart phones and various tablets to access PHI, the breach of security is always a threat for physicians and patients alike. Compliance of HIPAA guidelines becomes a major issue when there is a plethora of information that is transmitted through countless network terminals. There are numerous ways of ensuring security when it comes to safely transmitting PHI and complying with the HIPAA guidelines. However while adopting all these measures a practice would benefit by employing a healthcare service entity who would be able to provide the necessary HIPAA and other privacy checks along with streamlining the revenue management.
Social media can play a significant role in preventive medicine and the rapid growth in innovative technologies such as EMRs and EHRs has also given impetus to hospitals for adopting social media as an organizational tool and HIPAA compliance along with other prerequisites in the healthcare sector. Medical billers and coders does not just offer traditional medical billing and coding services but also the latest cutting edge EHR/PMS technology which further assists practices during social media adoption, in addition to other crucial departmental processes including revenue cycle management, interaction with payers, research and consulting, hence increasing medical billing within the healthcare