Social Networking Is Great for Patient Satisfaction But Not Necessarily for Physician Satisfaction

4 Sep
2008

As health care organizations warm up to what have been coined, Web 2.0 technologies, marketing departments embrace the chance to engage patients and enhance satisfaction but in some instances it appears to have come at the cost of physician satisfaction due to the inability of physicians to respond to patient comments and ratings due to privacy regulations. As integrated health systems begin to become more transparent with cost and quality metrics to differentiate themselves in the market we will continue to see struggles with concerns over privacy and fairness.

Guidelines for use of Web 2.0 technology:

The patient is in charge. To avoid violations of health care privacy laws, patients ought to be the only ones disclosing information about their health conditions.

Moderate your moderation: One of the most poignant challenges of business-hosted sights is allowing authentic dialogue to flourish — that means resisting the temptation to yank comments that are critical of the host company. Consider using an independent third-party to monitor blog comments and discussion boards. “We never want anyone to accuse Humana of creating a one-way dialogue, of controlling the message through editing,” said Ed Batchelor, corporate director of Web and new media for Humana Inc.


Avoid sneaky blogging techniques:
Paying or currying favor with bloggers for favorable coverage is a cardinal sin, and one that’s swiftly punished in the blogosphere.

Go where your audience is.
A common mistake is to try to lure people to your own Web site. Social marketing gurus say businesses should go where users already are — onto sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Flickr.

Source: Portland Business Journal

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