Gazing into the Future for Social Media in Health Care
Written by a prominent social media expert and marketing guru, Brian Solis, the image portrays the folly of denial and remaining static.
Social Media is a difficult market to explain or stay current. It seems to ebb and flow each day. Analytics has become a byline for return on investment.
Physicians will often compare efficiency on the amount of time or money invested to return an increase in reimbursement. That metric however will soon become less important for those providing care with insurance reimbursement. One issue that may not be entirely expected is that many more physicians will not interface with insurance companies, nor Medicare. In most states there is no requirement to accept Medicare in order to be licensed.
In today’s health care environment being listed in a provider directory is essential to maintaining a patient base. Belonging to a provider panel, IPA is essential. The effect of planned accountable organizations has yet to be determined.
Physicians during the last decade have been inclined to distance themselves from financial liability as profit margins have declined. In return for relief from liability and more regular hours physicians will accept employment, and leave the driving to others.
During the past two years concierge medicine and direct medicine have become a new financial model which decreases overhead for doctors and perhaps patients as well. With the profound reduction in bureaucracy it may also improve quality of care.
The Yellow Pages are dead, and have been replaced with the search engine, and social media is fast becoming an additional resource, facebook, google plus and perhaps a new social media platform of the year will arise. Social media platforms are interactive and require regular and frequent updating to eliminate the impression they are stale and old news. Many search engines have new algorithms that evaluate how often content is updated and may position your rank according to those criteria.
In terms of business planning medical concerns need to be proactive and plan to include social media in their marketing budgets, just as was done during the yellow page era. Twitter and Facebook identifications will become common place in printed material, email, stationary and other brochures.
Any physician seeking to engage in social media should read several primers on social media, outside the health care field, written by Brian Solis
Once you have these under your belt we can go on to more specific applications in health care.