My Experience with Social Media, Email and Healthcare #hcsm #hcr

This was a very interesting week from a *social media* perspective…

  • On Monday I saw 6 patients who *found* me through twitter, FB and/or my professional website. 
  • On Tuesday I saw 2 patients who *found* me through Twitter or FB.
  • On Tuesday, I was DM’d through twitter for a medication renewal.
  • On Wednesday, a patient used Twitter to confirm appointment and a *potential* patient approached me through twitter to see if I possessed expertise is his/her area of need.  
  • On Thursday all was quiet… except for the usual email traffic ( which I do not consider a social media endeavor…should I?).
  • On Friday a post-surgical patient contacted me through FB or Twitter to let me know they were doing well.  
  • This week, 65 emails were exchanged.  (That saved my assistant more than 120 minutes of her precious time trying to track me down, address questions, call patients back, pull charts and memorialize the interaction)

Many social media “experts” my group has intereviewed to help us with our #hcsm outreach have discounted the *elderly* and spoke of “their lack of adoption” of social media or electronic means of communication with a physician office.   I am here to tell you that those assertionsassumptions are patently false.  This week I received a communication from an 80+ yr old who recently had a total knee replacement.  They vacation up north and sent me a follow up picture of the wound and an embedded video of their gait!!!  It was incredible… and a phenomenal use of the various communication tools available to patients and physicians.

Furthermore, this week I received 65 emails from patients.  The vast majority were from patients over the age of 55.   Even when controlled for the avg age of all patients who emailed me that week, it was clear that the *older* patients are adopting digital communications and social media at a rate higher than that of younger generations.  It might not be a scientifically proven trend… but it is very encouraging.  This trend has certainly had an impact on the demographics we will target in any social media outreach program or campaign we use to enagage the #health2.0 consumer. 

An interesting week….


About hjluks

A busy Academic Orthopedic Surgeon, Digital Strategist, Chief Medical Officer and father... intently and efficiently navigating the intersection of Social Media and Health Care.
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7 Responses to My Experience with Social Media, Email and Healthcare #hcsm #hcr

  1. Victoria Powell says:

    Fantastic! This is what I have been waiting to see and I am so grateful you shared with others. The problem is going to be to get the clinics, physicians, nurses onboard and adopting of this technology in the medical field with all the fear of privacy issues.

  2. Howard Luks says:

    Thanks Victoria. While there are privacy and HIPAA concerns—I suspect most docs don’t see the efficiencies, PR, educational opportunities, etc associated with use of email and Soc Med. Patient adoption is growing significantly. My younger patients enjoy FB and older patients, twitter and email. Exciting times… HJLSent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  3. Becca Price says:

    Hi! Thanks for posting, real stories are the most helpful for helping those unable to “visualize” the ROI. Just wondering-do you only connect with patients on a computer, or hand held device, or both? I see you commented via your BlackBerry…

  4. Howard Luks says:

    Either computer or handheld. My blackberry is tethered to a HIPAA compliant server. Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  5. sameerb says:

    Interesting, Could you please elaborate on the “HIPAA complaint server” you said your BB is tethered to?

  6. Howard Luks says:

    Set up by hospital IT… through Exchange server (encrypted) and somehow a blackberry enterprise server as well.

  7. Phil Baumann says:

    Howard, thanks for the data. It’s good to hear concrete experiences. And this helps with countering some of the (unintentional) agism that haunts some of the discussion about the use of these media in health care.

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