There’s little doubt that information is now the new third party in the exam room.
We’ve been tracking the surveys that track online and social media use, and individually or collectively, they say patients are increasingly looking online for healthcare information. No surprise there. But what’s new is that their principal resource is social media.
Trend-watching healthcare marketing professionals will be interested in the latest metrics. And there’s an important message here for physicians, medical groups and other healthcare organizations and providers.
Just last week CNN.com pointed to a survey by the National Research Corporation and reported, “More and more patients are turning to social networks such Twitter and Facebook for health information…[in a] survey of nearly 23,000 people in the US, 41% said they use social media as a source of health care information.
For nearly all of them—94%—Facebook was their site of choice, with YouTube coming in a distant second at 32%. Eighteen percent of the respondents said they turned to MySpace or Twitter for health information.
While there’s little doubt that much of the general public likes and uses social media, there’s a different attitude on the provider side. Houston Neal at Software Advice offers an insightful post titled Social Media Can Improve Healthcare, But Are Doctors Holding Us Back? It’s a good read with a close-up look at why doctors aren’t getting on board with social media and the four things necessary for widespread buy-in. Read the entire post here.