As a healthcare provider or professional, you recognize that your social media use has an impact on the way potential patients view you. However, social media is the fastest-growing advertising and relating market out there, so you don’t want to limit yourself into not being able to use social media for the benefit of patients and potential patients.
There are some simple dos and don’ts for healthcare professionals, so feel free to use these tips to guide your social media usage.
- Feel free to share information with your patients. Providing updates related to technologies, introduce your new medical team on your social networks, answer questions on various topics (like how to reach a physician, hours of operation, location, etc.), and deliver generic pre-and-post operation care information. This information allows patients to quickly and easily access what information they may need. Additionally, you can offer patients updates on the practice itself, like if you have a new building or are expecting an update on the patient portal platform.
- Use other healthcare professional social media platforms to garner a positive response from your own. Social media networks allow you to look in-depth at the services offered by other doctors in your area. This can lead to growth and improvement in your own practice, since you might decide to offer new services.
- Most importantly, use your social media to update people on crises. In a time of crisis, hospitals and other healthcare providers have been known to give updates on capacity for new patients, operation status, and emergency room/emergency service access and ability.
- Do not use social media to violate the various HIPPA laws. Make sure to avoid discussing patients, specifically their names, ages, locations, etc., and speak generally about conditions and treatments. If you use a social media platform, make sure to post your policies and procedures on these platforms in a place they are easily accessible and navigable by the public.
- Do not practice medicine in any form on social media; don’t allow the public to trick you into offering a certain medication, a treatment, or any other resolution. That violates HIPPA because social media is accessible across the world.
- Do not hesitate to clearly discuss (or post) social media expectations to employees. These policies must be thoroughly gone over so that any employee that uses the social media platform is on the same page.
Social media is a great way to reach out to people. However, it must be handled carefully; use these guidelines to help you on your social media journey.