Posts Tagged ‘social media’
Celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Texas Family Docs blog (give or take a few days), gives us the opportunity to reflect on how we’re doing and give you, our members, a preview of what’s to come.
We launched on Jan. 10, 2011, with a goal to increase our connection with you and to encourage more interaction in the “post-health-reform era of rapid changes to the practice of medicine.” And we promised to share insights beyond our traditional news coverage on the issues you care about the most.
Through 36 posts, we explored the latest hot topics in policy: ACOs, the RUC, and the RACs; the often-maddening 82nd Texas Legislature; the even more maddening efforts to cut federal spending and address Medicare physician pay; and the importance of investing in primary care; and how the larger public views family medicine.
Of course now that we’re settled into a groove, we’re changing things up again! In just about a month, the Texas Family Docs blog will be rolled into the newly redesigned TAFP website. We hope it will further advance the mission of the blog and make it an indispensible resource for you. So watch for that announcement here in our original home and get ready for another great year in the blogosphere. Thanks for joining us!
This Annual Session ushered in a new era of communication, and we asked members to interact with us, their fellow attendees, and their colleagues from around the state and country. Now that the dust has settled on a busy conference filled with CME, business meetings, and special events, we want to encourage you to continue the commentary.
So…what did you think? How were our posts/pictures/tweets? What can we do to improve our communication and interaction with you? And, in a very simple sense, what did you like or not like about our effort (so we can be better next time)?
As a recap, the total effort centered around the Annual Session Social Media Portal – http://tafp11.txfamilydocs.org/ – a page within our TXFamilyDocs.org blog. We had an ASSA Flickr stream updated nightly, as well as a daily news wrap. Staff tweeted more frequently than posting on Facebook, but that goes along with the urgency of the platforms.
The highlight of the conference was our live stream of the lecture “Know Before You Sign! What to Look for in a Physician Employment Contract, Including Employment by Non-Profit Health Corporations.” Though it occurred from 5:15 – 6:15 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon, we had about a dozen viewers join us live, and we continue to have hits on the archived video on our Ustream channel: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/texas-academy-of-family-physicians. We even received a shout-out from Dr. Sevilla on his Family Medicine Rocks blog for this effort.
As fleeting as it seems, there is a certain longevity to social media tweets and posts, and I encourage you to revisit them. There is still time to upload pictures to our Flickr account (become a member and join our group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/txfamilydocs/), and it only takes a minute to scroll through our tweets and Facebook posts.
And, as mentioned above, this conference provided the building blocks for what we hope will be a larger effort to draw in our members and connect them beyond the walls of a host hotel. Watch as we work to further integrate all of our social media platforms at future conferences, and also please continue sending your suggestions. That’s the beauty of social media – it’s not about the person with the account password, it’s an fluid stream of interaction constructed for and by its contributors.
TAFP is embarking on a new experience for the 2011 Annual Session and Scientific Assembly, July 27-31, in Dallas. We have developed the Annual Session Social Media Portal, a new blog page on TXFamilyDocs.org that presents an opportunity for all TAFP members to participate, provide input, and interact with our fully-integrated social media program during the entire gathering.
This page, http://tafp11.txfamilydocs.org/, will be your hub for a live-streamed lecture; TAFP’s social media feeds; and discussion topics before, during, and after Annual Session. We encourage all to participate, especially if you can’t physically attend Annual Session in Dallas.
On this page we’ll post the latest news, gather attendee feedback, and stream a lecture from the 2011 Annual Session, TMLT’s “Know Before You Sign! What to Look for in a Physician Employment Contract, Including Employment by Non-Profit Health Corporations” with Douglas Kennedy, J.D.
If you tweet during the conference, don’t forget to follow TAFP on Twitter and include the hashtag #TAFP in your tweets so it’s logged in our conference feed. Also make sure to check in on TAFP’s Facebook page. Post your thoughts on speakers, special events, and exhibitors. Shooting photos? Sign up through Flickr and upload them to our group, www.flickr.com/groups/txfamilydocs, so they’ll be displayed through the social media portal. Be sure to tag them to our set “TAFP Annual Session 2011.”
Not only will you be able to keep up with your colleagues in Dallas, but you’ll also be able to enrich your experience by connecting with your colleagues around the state, our top-rated speakers, vendors, and staff, and participating in discussions of your choosing— all right here through TAFP’s blog, TXFamilyDocs.org. For more information about Annual Session, go to www.tafp.org/education/programs/2011as.
Need some more convincing? Check out this great post from The National Association of County and City Health Officials on the top 10 reasons to use social media at a professional conference. The short version is that you get to connect to people you might not otherwise, extend your professional network, stay on top of meeting logistics, and provide information to those who aren’t able to attend. I found it useful to follow TAFP’s Twitter feed during AAFP’s NCSC and ALF conferences so I could get the scoop on concurrent sessions!
Several miles into a long run last week, I started to feel a pang of pain with which I had grown familiar. I knew I would need to stop to “shake it out,” then slow my pace substantially until I could regain my stride and run through it. Because I’d had the same pang around the same mile for the past two weeks, I started thinking that I should talk to my family doctor about it. My first thought wasn’t to call her office – it was early on a Saturday morning, after all – it was to tweet it.
In addition to my personal Twitter account, I am one of the administrators for TAFP’s account and I know several of our family physician members who follow our feed. My tweet (from my personal account) would have gone like this: “Need advice: Sharp pain in the outside of my left knee near my kneecap around mile 7. Is this serious? Should I wear a brace?” With the remaining 15 characters, I would have tagged a few physician friends, none of whom is my personal family doctor.
As I kept plodding through the miles, I decided it would be unprofessional for me to use TAFP members — even those I consider to be friends — to give me a free diagnosis. However, I wondered if it would even be possible or ethical for a physician to give a diagnosis in 140 characters.
The way people communicate is obviously changing. Thanks to smart phones, we’re always plugged in checking e-mail, texts, and social media apps like Twitter and Facebook. More people post more information about themselves online, and connect with others by reading a digest of friends’ activities rather than calling, visiting, or (gasp) sending a letter.
Doctors are no exception. A growing faction of physicians supports expanding the use of social media to hash out ideas and drive reform for our health care system, market their practices, and share health information with medical students and patients. Some of these tweets are traceable through their hashtags, including #FMrevolution and #hcsm.
“It’s at least worth considering that, appropriately utilized, social media could do something for the doctor-patient relationship akin to what Facebook and Twitter is doing for family, friends, and business relations all over the world. … Many physicians and medical students that I know have not yet begun to wade into the Twitter waters or explore blogging. These tools must be engaged with before they are applied. I think there’s reason to believe that the very act of engagement will stimulate ideas for implementation. If big changes in health care are going to be bottom-up, and these social media tools are truly useful, then simple exposure to physicians on the ground may likely instigate much progress.”
To satisfy my original question, I sent a tweet that tagged a few active tweeting doctors. In their experience, had they come across any barriers working with social media? Did they think these applications could only be used for social purposes, or could they be expanded for clinical purposes as well?
Respondents said that they had come across barriers, the biggest being concern for patient privacy that limits what a doctor can actually say. There are also personal-professional boundaries. However, they resoundingly supported social media being used for more than just making friends.
They said that patients seem more prepared to incorporate some social media into their medical care than doctors, and that physicians must overcome larger mental and perceived barriers for adoption. One said he faces the task of convincing skeptics that social media can be used for professional purposes, particularly when on the job. If he checks medical apps or blogs on his phone, “it’s viewed as disinterest or assumed that I am texting friends.”
There are obvious differences between having a living, breathing patient on your exam table for a 15-minute office visit and reading a string of patient-written micro-posts. Particularly for primary care, which often calls for a multi-organ-system diagnosis, Twitter consults could oversimplify a patient’s care and take the doctor out of the driver’s seat. That may be why one responder said that patients could benefit from Twitter consults with some specialists.
As a benefit, Twitter provides access to a wide database of information-sharing and knowledge that, in one source’s opinion, can be beneficial to educating medical students. To me, this is the whole point. Twitter can either mean throwing information out into a larger audience to gauge response (as I did for this post), or it can mean tagging a specific person to have a semi-private conversation (as long as both agree in its use).
In the end, I scheduled a visit to my family physician and had a conversation much longer than a 140-character tweet. She inquired about things I hadn’t considered, and I walked away with a wealth of helpful advice to keep my knees in good shape for the race and in the years to come. We can talk Twitter on my next visit.
[Special thanks to @DrJonathan, @mdstudent31, and @danamlewis for contributing to this post. To all — please comment and let me know what you think. How are you using social media in your personal and professional life?]