Content Marketing Blog

Social media employed by doctors to share medical information

Many businesses are starting to adopt the use of a social media strategy, as more consumers begin to browse, shop and share online.

Retailers can find Twitter and Facebook campaigns of great benefit, posting their products in an interesting way on their page for their followers to share to their networks.

Various sectors are finding social media valuable to their working practices, with doctors also using the networking websites to share medical information.

A survey by American researchers on 485 physicians, found that over half (57.9 per cent) of respondents said that social media enabled them to care for the patients "more effectively".

Another 60 per cent stated that it helped to improve the quality of patient care they delivered.

The study was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research and was designed to give some understanding of the adoption of social media to exchange "information, advice, ideas, reports, and scientific discoveries" with other physicians in the medical community.

The main factors which were noted to have influenced a physician's use of social media to share medical knowledge, were its perceived usefulness and ease of use.

"In addition to individual factors and attitudes, respondents were far more likely to use social media to share medical knowledge with other physicians when they perceived that learning the technology was easy for them and when it resulted in useful performance outcomes, such as increased practice efficiency and enhanced patient outcomes," the authors noted.

The authors said that from this study it appears that the frequency of social media usage is primarily influenced by "positive attitudes" toward the technology.

Personal experience and anecdotes were likely to be the "primary drivers" of these positive attitudes, said the authors.

They also suggested that social media technologies could complement or even replace continuing medical education for physicians as either an "informal or formal learning channel".

Posted by April Revake.