Are Your Hospital’s Physicians’ Using “Doctor-Only” Social Networks?

September 12, 2012
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Did you know that one of the leading causes of death in America is medical mistakes or accidents, including those performed by doctors? And those medical mistakes are the results of errors resulting from miscommunication? One way to fix this all-important problem is a “Doctor-Only” social network called Doximity.

Did you know that one of the leading causes of death in America is medical mistakes or accidents, including those performed by doctors? And those medical mistakes are the results of errors resulting from miscommunication? One way to fix this all-important problem is a “Doctor-Only” social network called Doximity.

DoximityAs of this past July, 11 percent of all U.S. physicians have become a part of this unique community. Its main objective is to create a network to help doctors communicate and work together in a secure environment to coordinate faster and better patient care.

But this free service is a little different from traditional social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. All physicians who want to access their Doximity profiles are subject to a three-stage identity verification. Once verified, they can search all members by clinical interests, hospital affiliations, specialties, accepted insurances and other criteria.

More important than all these other features: Doximity is HIPAA grade-encrypted. This means physicians can securely receive private messages, exchange private phone lists and share numbers for the mobile lines and pagers with other physician colleagues. For example, doctors who want lab results can’t get them via traditional SMS text or email – both non-HIPAA compliant methods – and instead have to read a fuzzy fax. Now, by using Doximity, they can speed up that process and read the results much more easily and clearly on their smartphone or tablet.

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Since HIPAA restrictions are so strict, it has become very difficult for the medical community to be able to coordinate client care in the digital environment. Electronic Health Records (EMRs) accessible to hospitals and doctors aren’t completely in place yet. Using a tool like Doximity or another network such as Sermo or DocBookMD can lead to a reduction in medical errors, even potentially saving lives.