The Link Between Social Media and Health Care
An article from GP focuses on the link between social media and health care as more medical practitioners embrace social networking. Professor Clare Gerada mentions on March 15 that this “has potential for many benefits.” The Royal College of General Practitioners will be releasing a guide titled the RCGP Social Media Highway Code on March 18 to give professionals a better understanding of how social media can be integrated into their work.
The release of the RCGP Social Media Highway Code in the U.K. highlights the need for more guidance as more professionals begins to use social networking. This issue has also been addressed in a recent article from Nursing Times. On March 7, Anne Cooper points out that social media can create opportunities to discuss health and could provide a valuable network for patients, but it can also mixed with information that could be harmful.
The use of social media by health professionals and companies is not a new concept, but it is constantly evolving. Social media offers another way to connect with patients in a relaxed setting and provide them with relevant information. For example, the American Medical Association has an active Twitter account that has posts ranging from its own blogs to recent studies. However, large medical organizations are not the only ones that are using social media to reach more people. Bridges to Recovery, a residential treatment center, is using Google+ pages as a hub to list its social network links and connect with others. Even nonprofit organizations like Until There's A Cure are using Facebook to reach people.
Social media is allowing health professionals and companies to increase engagement with their networks while providing current medical information. The RCGP is encouraging practitioners to make social networking a bigger part of their lives, and this trend is being seen more frequently.