It’ll be no surprise to the readers of this blog that physicians’ use of Twitter and other social media has been exploding over the last couple of years. But it may surprise you to know how hard it is to really analyze that data.Last year Dr. Katherine Chretien of the VA Medical Center in Washington, DC, published an eye-opening study in a JAMA letter. Until that point, all we really had were anecdotes and survey responses – certainly not the same as analyzing what physicians were actually doing and saying on Twitter.By leveraging a strong research team, Dr. Chretien was able to narrow a list of 523 potential author candidates to a final group
This is the rough narrative of a presentation delivered at Stanford’s Medicine X on September 30, 2012I’m convinced I was born at just the right time in history. I was trained as an analog physician but I’m a witness to medicine’s digital transformation. It’s really a remarkable time to be in medicine. And one of the key forces behind this transformation is information. What I’d like to talk about is how information is changing doctors and how we might begin to react.Not long ago I was treating a boy with ulcerative colitis who developed a complication of UC called sclerosing cholangitis. This is a condition where there’s autoimmune activity
David May, MD, describes Twitter as a doctors lounge. When he wants to discuss the latest journal articles or clinical research, there are always other doctors on hand to offer their opinions and add to the discussion. But unlike a doctors lounge, the discussion isnt limited to colleagues down the hospital corridor. It can include thousands of people from around the world.The social media world is such an intense, immediately responsive place that you can have tremendous amounts of traffic pointing out the good and bad about an article itself technically, about the concepts that were put forward, and about potential flaws that were in a paper,
NEWS THAT the small Scottish island of Jura had taken to social media to recruit a GP made headlines in the UK earlier this month after the ad was posted on a Facebook page entitled Perfect Practice: Idyllic Island GP vacancy.According to the ad ( facebook.com/PerfectPracticeJura), the islanders are “looking for a doctor to run the medical practice on the beautiful Island of Jura. The Jura community of 200 want to find a candidate who will love the island, as well as look after their health.”The amount of attention received by this rather unconventional but innovative approach to GP recruitment is testament to the increasing growth of social
The Bipartisan Policy Report titled “What is Driving US Health Care Spending? America’s Unsustainable Health Care Cost Growth” issued in September lists seven factors increasing American health care costs. The “fiscal cliff” debates include many of these arguments.While these factors do indeed play roles in American health care, almost all are at work in other industrialized countries, all of whom provide better care to more people for half what we spend. Good intentions aside, the report overlooks critical (and dysfunctional) characteristics of American health care and instead distracts itself with factors never mastered by any country (including
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When the University of Pennsylvania Health System sought new patients for its lung transplant service last year, it turned to Facebook and Google.
The results of the $20,000 advertising campaign on the websites exceeded administrators' expectations.
During a few weeks in August and September, more than 4,600 people clicked on the ads and 36 people made appointments for consultations. One of those is now on the hospital’
One morning recently, I found another physician standing morosely at one of the mobile computer terminals we refer to as “cows”—computers on wheels—that are everywhere now in our hospital. I asked what was the matter. “Oh nothing, really,” she said. “It’s just that I don’t feel I know the patients as well as I used to.”
I knew exactly what she meant. Things are different now that we have the EMR—the electronic medical record. After two months of use, we’ve learned to our sorrow that these records don’t tell us stories that make cognitive sense. Instead they offer data in endless lists.
Before the written word, people told
Customer satisfaction is quite the rage these days. Many stores and restaurants, many professional offices, hand out surveys, or ask customers to log onto their survey site on the Internet. As a reward, one may win everything from a free sandwich to an iPad.I’d be interested to know how customer satisfaction played out in my home. “Kids, now you’ve had a week of school-work. Please fill out the attached survey and give your mom and me an idea how we’re doing. Frankly, if you’re not satisfied, your mom is out as teacher!”How about politics? That would be interesting, wouldn’t it? I know, we vote. But our current system makes it difficult to remove
Propaganda and non-truths abound all around the Internet saying that mobile health apps are everything from a threat to Big Pharma to a way to save billions of dollars in healthcare costs. There may be a future for mobile apps but a lot of work is yet to be done.
Last year I led some market research into mobile apps across all demographic segments and several disease conditions. While we did uncover some opportunities for mobile health we also learned that patients are very finicky about what they want in health apps and even more finicky about being reminded of their health conditions.
We found, for example, that type 1 diabetics
It’s no wonder that many hospitals are taking a heavy handed approach when it comes to their doctors and social media.
Stanford University School of Medicine student Matt Goldstein, who graduates in June and has accepted a position at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, says the hospital specifically stated in a letter to him that it would like him to refrain from using social media with patients. Goldstein also says the letter he got told him he should change his privacy settings on Facebook, if he used it at all, to optimize privacy.
“The letter said the patient may try to ‘friend’ you, but we suggest you don’t accept,”
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