Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Social Media in Health Care: Empowering #Therapists Worldwide


By: Melissa Page

social media in health careSocial media is now a very important part of today’s society. Aside from bringing light to the business sector, this digital platform, social media, has changed the landscape of health care as well. In fact, many therapists agree that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Flickr and many other social media sites did a great deal in helping them grow professionally.
So how exactly does social media empower therapists?
  • It strengthens therapist-patient relationship.

    Communication between patient and health care team has evolved for the better, thanks to social media sites. At sites such as Patients Like Me, patients are able to share their medical condition to other patients and health care professionals around the world, thus allowing them to compare treatment procedures, discuss test results and learn from each other. Instead of reading medical articles and reference blogs, patients can directly ask the assigned therapy professional and get answers to their queries real-time. This procedure keeps medical information transparent, true and fast.

  • It shares industry breakthroughs.

    Nowadays, therapists no longer rely solely on magazines and social networkingjournals for learning. Instead, they turn to social media sites to gain insight on the health care industry’s new and upcoming trends. Following professional sites tells therapists what’s new in the medical sector and offers them reliable information. Following their favorite bloggers can also give them an insight on what’s happening in the health care profession.
  • It spreads awareness about public health issues.

    Social media becomes an important tool especially during emergencies such as Hurricane Sandy. By retweeting posts on Twitter or posting links on Facebook, therapists are able to inform and promote the safety and well-being of individuals in the community. Therapists can also raise awareness for a certain cause through tweets, blogs and posts.

  • It makes communication easier, especially for travel therapists.

    Before social media, travel therapists would have to send out or receive tons of letters for their assignments. Some instructions could not reach them while they were on the road. Now with social media, travel therapists only need to follow a Twitter feed, read a blog post, or check Flickr photos for instructions. Moreover, communicating to friends and family back home has become easier, thanks to social networking sites. Photo and video sharing to loved ones is also possible through Facebook and Flickr.

  • It shares knowledge, expertise, and support towards fellow healthcare professionals.

    Sites such as PutMeBackTogether are avenues for sharing knowledge and expertise with other therapists. All one needs to do is to register an account and he or she is free to participate in forums and discussion boards, ask and answer questions, read related articles, and even get therapy job opportunities.

  • therapy professionalIt helps therapists de-stress.

    YouTube, Metacafe and other video sites can help therapists de-stress. Numerous videos are light and funny -- the perfect medicine after a tiring 12-hour shift. Social networking sites can also serve as the temporary escape from the daily grind.
Do you know other ways how social media can empower therapists and other health care professionals? Share them here!

About the author: Based in San Diego, California, Melissa Page is a social media contributor who has been writing about the importance of social media on various blogs. She currently works with My Life, a revolutionary platform that allows you to manage your social network updates and email messages securely and conveniently on one dashboard. When she’s not busy writing, she’s out with her friends.

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