What Social Media Provides Physicians

Social Media is becoming the common, easily accessible vehicle by which many people, including physicians, are communicating. This form of communication or social interaction is very convenient for all to use; Twitter and Facebook are probably the most common media used and are very simple. Just as celebrities tweet “getting my nails done” and college students tweet about an upcoming party tonight, a physician can tweet about a stomach flu that’s going around in their community.

"If you go back two generations, doctors came to your house. They lived in your community. They probably went to the same church…With social media, "what we're really doing is going back and creating a more personal experience with technology." - Jeff Livingston

People like to feel a part of a community and the more you involve yourself personally, the more you are viewed as approachable, a reliable resource and respectable. Everyday physicians are creating Twitter and Facebook Pages as a way to:
·         Connect among other physicians
·         A resource for patients to turn to
·         A way to view what patients are thinking- since communication is rare between physicians and patients
·         An avenue to voice your opinion- as it can go unnoticed with so much use of WebMD and Google
·         A bigger draw to your practice- if a patient follows you & forwards an informative tweet to a friend, expect    more patients

Even the AMA has placed a social media policy which contains guidelines of implementing privacy settings on sites such as Facebook & Twitter. Also, it encourages maintaining appropriate boundaries of physician-patient relationships on the web. However some physicians aren’t respecting these guidelines according to Kevin Pho, a primary doctor based in New Hampshire, “The problem is that some [physicians on Twitter] break Pho's cardinal rule: Never use Twitter to dispense medical advice or comment on a patient.” source

The guidelines to setting the privacy on social accounts weren’t as thorough as expected from AMA, however. If you are concerned about your privacy, here are step-by-step guides for Twitter and Facebook.


More Government Intrusion...Why?

Illinois Democrat, Dick Durbin, has pushed legislation which went into effect a week ago. This legislation limits the fees big banks collect from merchants and he now finds himself the fall guy for Bank of America’s new $5 monthly debit care fee. His response was a ranting and raving and even suggested that consumers “get the heck out of that bank”. Holy cow, you’ve got to be kidding me! Since when does a politician publicly denounce a specific business entity then recommends do not buy or use its services?

Many Americans have always been under the impression that they have the capabilities of deciding which goods and services better suit them, including prices. Over the past several years I have noticed that the intelligence level of Americans has precipitously declined and, fortunately, some Senators and House members are there to rescue us from any and all financial disasters.

I firmly believe that when unfettered competition is allowed to determine the value of products and services offered, businesses and individuals are fully capable of taking decisions as to which products or services serve them best based upon specific cost-benefit evaluations. However, over the past several decades, politicians have been forcing their influence into both consumer and business buying habits of certain products and services. It appears this trend has taken effect because many politicians are easily convinced through glib lobbying persuasion tactics. For example, company A has been investing millions into its new business service software products and, unfortunately, several competitors have quickly developed products which have cut into company A market and, in some cases, have received positive news. In order for company A to regain its market share dominance, it solicits the services of a renowned lobbyist who successfully influences politicians to place expensive legal restrictions, special software licenses and federal and state licensing restrictions to legally market similar services. Smaller and new entrants might find these new restrictions to be cost prohibitive and leave the competition thus freeing up company A to greater success.

Similar tactics have proven successful in the banking industry when large national and regional banks place additional financial burdens on local and smaller successful banks. This would include enforcing greater scrutiny on mortgage loans, including larger down payments and imposing larger reserve funds. The latter reduces available funds loans and constrains cash flow. So sooner or later these smaller banks become increasingly frustrated and sell to a larger financial institution. One way smaller banks can extend life is to evaluate and utilize the talent of outside sources. This serves several critical financial benefits such as savings on hiring and training personnel in the collection or credit granting departments. Banks can observe, manage, evaluate, change, observe and manage operations at the drop of a pen.