One of the services we can help you with here at HMS, along with billing, accounting and consulting is social media. In this social media dependent world, we understand the importance of expanding one’s reach-we do it every day through our blog!
It’s estimated that 67 percent of all internet users connect on Facebook, and although it’s the most popular with 18-49 year olds, 50 percent of 50-64 year olds also sign –in on a regular basis. Similarly, Twitter is used by 16% of all internet users, although many businesses utilize both Facebook and Twitter together to gain a wider audience. There’s also YouTube, which allows all users to publicly or privately share videos. With the advent of social media platforms and websites such as healthgrade.com, physicians are becoming more prevalent in social media as they begin to understand the magnetic power behind it. 41 percent of people surveyed say social media would affect their choice when picking a health care provider.
For physicians, Facebook and/or a website can offer the most appropriate tools to connect with patients. Either could be used for direct announcements such as an office closing or a flu shot reminder. But they can also be used for something even more important: as a resource. Instead of using search engines to research, often from unreliable sources, patients can turn to you, a trusted healthcare professional. You can use social media to post useful health-related information, links to important studies, and any other information that positions you, the physician, as the expert clinical resource needed to help individuals make informed decisions and improve health statuses. And of course, patients can easily access your office to make an appointment for a personal consultation.
In addition, providers can post testimonials, offers (we recommend sticking to one a week), images of office life, inspirational quotes, and answer important questions. Some physicians have even chosen to make a personal Facebook page so that patients can speak directly to them; certain physicians include patient stories (with permission and a signed release).
In the end, social media is about telling stories and connecting with patients. What you post can add significant value to your organization. A satisfied patient is a happy patient and 70 percent of new patient referrals come from existing (happy) patients. If you would like help building an online presence with our social media services or with starting a website, please contact us at (203) 294-6659. We’d love to help you build a stronger relationship with your patients!
Below are a few resources we have put together for you to learn more about the benefits of social media:
Click here to read about physicians who’ve started using social media in their practices
Click here for a video from the Mayo Clinic’s Center of Social Media
Click here for video about social media guidelines for physicians and medical practices
Click here for a webinar about physicians in social media