Many hospitals and practices still hesitate to jump on board the social media bandwagon. Here's some practical advice to guide your organization through the decision process.
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Dr. Howard Luks's philosophy is pretty straightforward. "I firmly believe that physicians have a moral obligation to educate their patients." With that mantra in mind, Luks, chief of sports medicine at the N.Y. Medical College and Westchester Medical Center, has established a firm digital footprint. But he makes a distinction between a digital presence and a social media presence.
"You can root your digital presence in social media, but it doesn't have to be and the two aren't mutually exclusive," Luks told InformationWeek Healthcare." Luks created a website and became a very active user of Twitter in 2008 to interact with other physicians and urge them to share their experiences. He also has a Facebook page and is currently exploring Read List, a new platform where you can curate content in the form of a book. "For example, I can make a book about the knee or meniscus tears and I can include my own content as well as published articles or content from a government site or the MayoClinic and send a patient a link to that read list."
Luks said that a significant percentage of his patients are in his office because of his online presence. "Having a digital presence that's rooted in social media enables me to humanize myself and humanize my organization. To ignore your online presence or digital presence or practice website is to potentially ignore your own relevance as a practitioner over the next five to 10 years."
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