This is great post to make a point, as I hear so much of the time from physicians, “my patients don’t know how to even use a computer and they imagewouldn’t use this, it’s a waste of time”.  Is it maybe the perception model being a little off here?   Here’s a case of a physician that sees it quite differently and if you read the entire post at the link, he rolls out some number too, 6 patients seen on Monday who found him through Facebook, Twitter or his own web site, in other words patients are out there reading and looking.  Tuesday, a bit more of the same, 2 new patients via Twitter were seen.  

Also worth noting here is the fact that he calculated he saved his medical assistant 2 hours of time pulling charts, etc. via the use of email.  I think this is great that time was taken to make note of this and perhaps others may listen up here too.  It’s not going away by any shape or form.  One observation of my own that I see quite frequently too is the use of e-prescribing or should I say the non-use. 

An office that is not using this technology has reams of paper flowing off the fax machines, phones ringing with pharmacies calling,and medical assistants running like crazy to keep up, and this too takes time away from being with patients.  Even if you have not gone with a complete electronic solution, just baby stepping in this direction is worth hours of removing the “Chinese fire drill” to the fax machine and the medical assistants once they are trained and using it, appreciate it as they are now free to spend more time with the patients and physicians.  I have made that comment quite frequently over the last few years, “why are you making the job of your medical assistant so chaotic”.  BD  image

Many social media "experts" my group has interviewed to help us with our #hcsm outreach have discounted the *elderly* and spoke of "their lack of adoption" of social media or electronic means of communication with a physician office.   I am here to tell you that those assertions\assumptions are patently false.  This week I received a communication from an 80+ yr old who recently had a total knee replacement.  They vacation up north and sent me a follow up picture of the wound and an embedded video of their gait!!!  It was incredible... and a phenomenal use of the various communication tools available to patients and physicians.

Furthermore, this week I received 65 emails from patients.  The vast majority were from patients over the age of 55.   Even when controlled for the avg age of all patients who emailed me that week, it was clear that the *older* patients are adopting digital communications and social media at a rate higher than that of younger generations.  It might not be a scientifically proven trend... but it is very encouraging.  This trend has certainly had an impact on the demographics we will target in any social media outreach program or campaign we use to engage the #health2.0 consumer.

My Experience with Social Media, Email and Healthcare #hcsm #hcr - The Orthopedic Posterous


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