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6/27/2013
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Social Media Improves Chronic Disease Care

Online health communities that include providers as well as patients can improve patient engagement and offer other benefits to both groups, says study.

People who join these communities seem to be highly motivated. Over a 12-month period, the study said, 54% of the Parkinson and ParkinsonNet community members generated new content or posted a comment.

But the authors acknowledged that in Holland, as in this country, financial incentives and cultural norms will need to change in order for this social networking approach to have widespread success. "The implementation of OHCs into clinical practice demands a paradigm shift in control and power, out of the hands of those who deliver care, into the hands of those who receive it," they wrote.

In the U.S., patients are more likely to share information about their own or others' health experiences on a social media site such as Facebook or Twitter than participate in online health communities. But about a fifth of respondents in a PWC survey said they'd joined a health forum or community. About 140,000 of them belong to PatientsLikeMe.

The PWC researchers said, "PatientsLikeMe demonstrates that despite privacy concerns, many consumers are open to sharing information via social media."

U.S. physicians, however, are less interested in sharing with their patients online. Most physicians who have been invited to "friend" a patient on Facebook, for example, have declined. Doctors' top social media sites include physician online communities and LinkedIn.

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anon6081676545
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anon6081676545,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/2/2014 | 1:39:15 PM
Great post
Very interesting post. I think social media and technology in general can help us improve all kinds of healthcare. My company provides assisted living in Concord NH, and we recently supplied iPads to our caregivers out in the field so that they can take notes and view client healthcare records on-the-go and in the cloud. Small steps, I know, but steps in the right direction none the less. Hopefully more companies can leverage social and tech to improve their processes and improve their ability to provide care.

 

- Jaclyn
Alex Kane Rudansky
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Alex Kane Rudansky,
User Rank: Author
7/10/2013 | 5:42:59 PM
re: Social Media Improves Chronic Disease Care
I think OHCs are another example of the industry push toward directly engaging and involving patients in their own care, especially as patients become increasingly comfortable with sharing their information, either through consenting to the EHR system, or (now) social media and online communities.
jaysimmons
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jaysimmons,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/1/2013 | 4:06:24 AM
re: Social Media Improves Chronic Disease Care
I like the idea of using the power of social media in order
to create a forum for patients, physicians, and any other person affected by
certain diseases. Having a community to provide support and answers to
questions you may have is always good and the insight provided by the community
can be extremely helpful to patients. With the popularity of social media and
devices such as smartphones and tablets that could run these sites and apps,
this can be used to empower patients and get them more involved in their
healthcare.

Jay Simmons
Information Week Contributor
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