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The Social MEDia Course: Medical Communities
Bertalan Mesko, MDon 3 October 2015
Transcript of The Social MEDia Course: Medical Communities
Bertalan Mesko, MD, PhD
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Take home messages
First listen and follow what your colleagues do online
Know the limitations, dangers and privacy concerns!
Engage, build an online presence with strategy.
Same rules apply for real life as for social media. If there is something you would never do in the real world, don't do that online neither!
Thank you for the attention!
Take the test
See other courses
Practicing medicine requires teamwork
I have clinical questions
What happens when I don't know who I should contact?
I could ask colleagues randomly, but this is not a strategy
Targeting specific groups with my questions is the solution
84% of doctors use web during work
71% of doctors use community sites
There are several methods for that
Medical community sites
Social media channels
There are more and more of them
Generally on these sites:
Credentials or copy of diplome is required to become a member
Only medical professionals are members
Clinical cases can be discussed
Sites have different policies about HIPAA
Sites might be country or language specific
Sites might be medical specialty-specific
Research community with over 1 million members
US community with care collaboration platform
A Personal & Professional Networking Site for Doctors & Medical Students Worldwide
Largest US Online Network, Exclusive to Physicians
Largest UK network
Largest global network with around 2 million physicians (Chinese)
Biggest list of biomedical community sites
You can choose a community based on
main topics (research or clinical cases)
whether you can access cases, images, videos
how closed the community is, etc.
There are many choices for almost all features above
You might find answers for your clinical questions through social media but!
These are not specialty-specific channels
Not only medical professionals use these
Not really country-specific
Credentials are not needed
requires times and efforts
Crowdsourcing on Twitter
With enough time and efforts, you can build a network capable of proper crowdsourcing (to receive an answer for a question you don't know who has the answer for), but for some time, you have to work without seeing the actual and probable benefits. These days, I use Twitter for many reasons:
to ask clinical questions
to look for medical papers
to find new contacts
to receive speaker invitations
to get feedback about my projects
to look for collaborators
to find content for my presentations, etc.
Sidenote about e-mails
Enhancing Doctor-Patient Communication Using Email: A Pilot Study
Doctor-patient communication via e-mail can be beneficial
Establish turnaround time for messages.
Inform patients of the appropriate usage of e-mail.
Do not use e-mail for medical emergencies
Do not use e-mail for sensitive matters (HIV, mental health issues, etc)
E-mail communication is not a substitute for medical examination.
Enhancing Doctor-Patient Communication Using Email: A Pilot Study
Suggestions for dealing with e-mails
You should see the patients, meet them in person and know them before online consultation
of U.S. physicians have received Facebook friend requests from patients;
of them declined the invitations.
By Australian Medical Association
A guide to online professionalism for medical practitioners and medical students
Easy to find colleagues
Free to use
Doctor Patient Discussion on Facebook: Banned
By the Medical Defence Union
And now for something completely different:
What should you do?
If your Facebook profile is personal, do no accept the patient's friend request, but send an explanation to the patient
Can Differential Diagnosis Be Crowdsourced to Facebook Friends?
The study involved asking subjects to post a clinical scenario on their wall and ask their friends for a potential diagnosis
The correct diagnosis was suggested
in five of the six case stories
, and the correct diagnosis was made after a median of
Imagine the potential benefits of using such communities for professional reasons with strategy and clear purposes
In order to avoid legal problems, know your Facebook privacy settings in details!
You might get answer in minutes
Your colleagues are there, just have to find them
Messages are archived
Working in a global community has clear benefits
You should know about the boundaries and separate your personal and professional online profiles
Know the 18 identifiers of HIPAA and know what you shouldn't discuss about your patients online
To assess the quality of the answers you receive, you have to build a relationship with these global colleagues based on trust, it takes time
Never accept an answer, do some research about it, you don't have to take answers for granted, instead, see them as potential directions towards the solution
E.g.: If you don't want to show photos of your vacation to your patients at the grocery store, why would you share them on Facebook?
The other side of the issue
Same concepts apply for Google+
Case presentations in closed circles with only medical professionals involved
About using medical community sites
You don't have to use medical community sites, but at least be familiar with them.
Open access social media guide for pharma
including how medical professionals should communicate online
E.g.: EchoJournal for echocardiology
Most of these channels are absolutely for free
A non-medical alternative for building a professional network
TOP 10 Crowdsourcing DOs and DONTs
Tips to avoid HIPAA violations in social media
1. Don’t talk about patients at all (but only about cases).
2. You can talk about conditions, treatments and research.
3. Don’t be anonymous. This is a crucial issue. If you are afraid of losing your job because of what you post online, do not post anything at all.
4. If you wouldn’t say it at the grocery store, do not publish it online.
5. Check the tone of your blog posts, tweets of Facebook messages.
6. Don’t mix your personal and professional lives. Use separate accounts for these.