Social media—and the internet in general—is transforming how people find information and seek opinions from peers, leading them to make more informed decisions. For example, today, if a patient discovers a rash on their body, they’ll likely turn to online forums, WebMD, or peers before speaking to a medical professional.
How many patients come into your practice with a self-diagnosis? With today’s access to information, patients want to be more involved in their care. When patients turn to the internet and social media as their first source for answers, can a presence on social media improve your patient connection?
By participating on social media, providers can feel closer to their patients, thus improving their relatability. In addition, patients can feel like they have more input to their diagnosis and treatment plan.
In addition, social media now enables patients to learn more about your clinic. Dr. Bruce Hopper, a general practitioner, shares that he connects with patients outside his practice by sending them texts, social media messages, and video chats. In addition, he shares relatable healthcare information via Facebook and Twitter. By having this relationship with his patients, he helps them feel empowered.
Social media can also be a great way to:
- Educate your current or potential patients (flu season reminders, back-to-school physicals, etc.)
- Share general practice reminders (holiday hours, weekend schedule, etc.)
- Give your practice more visibility
- Bring you closer to your patients by showing personality and kindness
Providers already see the value of social media. A study shows that 70% of primary care physicians and oncologists use social media at least once a month to explore or contribute health information. But, of course, physicians and other providers must be mindful of the information they share on social media, as HIPAA requirements still apply. For example, it’s never acceptable to give individual medical advice or publish data to identify a patient on your social media pages.
So, how can you speak with patients online? If a patient wants to talk online, you can direct them to schedule a consultation with you through Sniffle. This telemedicine app improves patient connections by enabling providers and patients to conduct virtual consultations, making it more efficient for both parties.
The Sniffle app enables you to treat more patients for minor ailments and bring more money into your practice. It’s free for providers and also requires only a $10 booking fee for patients.
It’s time to start connecting with your patients virtually. Create a Facebook page for your practice, sign up for Twitter or Instagram, and download the Sniffle app today to improve your patient connection!