Internet and Social Media for Doctors

It is time for doctors to start their online journey…

Today, most information sought is reached through the Internet. India is now the third largest Internet user in the world, below only China and the United States, and already edging out Japan (1).

Most doctors, and particularly specialists, are already online, with information about them appearing on hospital websites, health information sites, online articles, and various social platforms.

Social networking platforms, such as LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook, can be of immense use in shaping your public image. To be even more personalized, there is always the option to have your own website, which can be linked to any social networking site to enhance visibility.Social-media-on-Smartphone

LinkedIn

LinkedIn profiles get a high ranking in Google searches. Creating a LinkedIn profile is very simple and systematic, and it requires only your email ID. On your profile, you can list your academic credentials, professional experience, and publications. It takes only a matter of minutes to create a LinkedIn profile, which any doctor can then use as his or her own online résumé.

Google+

Google+ is a powerful tool, as it makes it easier for patients to find any doctor. Google controls the search engine market, so any doctor having a Google+ page is naturally easier to find. Furthermore, when a doctor shares a post on any topic of his specialty on his Google+ page, Google will favor this search result for the same topic, for anyone who is connected to him or her. With the page in question is then placed near the top of the search results, patients will be more likely to visit the doctor’s page, seeing as it is made through a Google program and relevant to the topic being searched. Creating a page is a simple task when you have a Gmail account (2). You can use this page like a website, personalizing it with a photo of yourself and making it more attractive overall with pictures from your clinic/hospital.
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Once the page is created, you can use the “Story” box in the “About” section to create a personal bio and list your educational background, professional credentials, and achievements, as well as your current professional associations and contact details for hospitals, clinics, and diagnostic centers. You can also include links to your website, Twitter, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn profiles. Photos and any relevant YouTube videos can be added under their respective sections. Finally, the “Posts” section is helpful for adding information that is useful to patients, as well as sharing about conferences you have attended or your articles that have been published.

Websites for Your Practice

It is encouraged that doctors have their own websites. The content of the website should be more or less like the doctor’s Google+ page, but this should look more attractive. Patients should be able to book appointments right there online, and the website should elaborate more on the specialty of the doctor, as well as list more patient education content. The website should be easy to navigate, and it is usually recommended that it be maintained by a Web technician.

Blogs, Twitter, and More

In addition to these more traditional and professional forums, doctors can also write blogs, share their opinions through Twitter, and contribute to social media at large by getting connected to online communities. This, however, demands responses from the doctors on a regular basis, and they will have to devote at least a few minutes to it every day.

In today’s modern era, the Internet is a powerful source of information for both patients and doctors (3). It is time for Indian doctors to welcome this innovative change and build up their online reputations to become more patient-friendly (4).

AK Valimbe Dr.Ashwini Valimbe, Health IT Consultant, US and Indian healthcare domain. Expertise in health outcomes, EMR, Meaningful Use and Comparative Effectiveness Research. Current interests includes designing and implementation of simple tools for private clinics in India and physician education to adopt technology and transform healthcare.

References (click to show/hide)

  1. India is now world’s third largest Internet user after U.S., China. http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/india-is-now-worlds-third-largest-internet-user-after-us-china/article5053115.ece
  2. 6 Google+ Tips for Businesses. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/6-google-tips-for-businesses/
  3. Doctors: Social media strategies to manage your identity online. http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2012/08/doctors-social-media-strategies-manage-identity-online.html
  4. 3 reasons why a physician’s online reputation is essential. http://www.healthcarecommunication.com/Main/Articles/3_reasons_why_a_physicians_online_reputation_is_es_7862.aspx


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This entry was posted in Practice Management and tagged , , , . Volume: .

4 Comments

  1. AK Val
    Posted May 2014 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Ashwini for such an extensive overview on the current technological aspects and i am sure this will certainly break through the medicos to be a part of this amazing thing and be connected to the world around.

  2. uday pawar
    Posted Nov 2014 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Dear Ashwini,
    Am in need for a EMR in my clinic.
    How could you help?
    Uday Pawar

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