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    Why physicians should become active on social media

    If you and your team haven’t discussed how social media can be used to grow your practice and get seen in a competitive market, I hope you keep reading. Finding success with social media takes time and energy, but it’s never too late to start building momentum. 

     

    Further reading: Easy tips for physicians to address negative online patient reviews

     

    Understandably, some physicians are resistant to the idea of professionally embracing social media. However, I truly believe that everyone, both the novice and the social media savvy, can find a way to make these digital platforms work for them.

    With a unique voice, good content, patience and a lot of consistency, your practice’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or YouTube channel can become valuable assets.

    Here are a few reasons why getting your healthcare practice or hospital specialty program active on social media can pay off:

    1.     Build a Sense of Community

    As physicians or hospital administrators, we are busy. Interacting with patients to the degree we’d like and fostering great doctor-patient relationships that build loyalty simply isn’t possible all the time. A 2016 study that looked at doctors across 26 specialties found that patients spent an average of 13-16 minutes with their doctor, per visit. Sixteen minutes or less is not a lot of time to address a patient’s immediate concerns, much less build a relationship. This is where social media comes in.

     

    In case you missed it: ACP urges collaborative action to put patients before paperwork

     

    Creating a comfortable, safe and educational atmosphere online that showcases your clinical expertise and creates conversations that are relevant to your patients is something that can deliver more face time with the people you serve. Welcoming feedback and supporting peer engagement is a differentiator for your practice and will help you become more relatable to patients. It allows patients to see another side of you as a clinician, and adds another dimension to your practice.

    Next: Bogged down by your EHR? Social media is here to help

    Nima Mehran MD
    Nima Mehran, MD, is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and joint replacements.

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