Tuesday, April 23, 2013

#TakeTwo & Tweet Me in the Morning

Is social media just what the doctor ordered? That’s the impression left by writer David Shaywitz at forbes.com.

At a recent medical conference with a session on social media, Shaywitz found physicians were both convinced of the technology’s importance and loath to actually engage it.

Shaywitz categorizes physicians’ concerns as Patients Receiving “Bad” Information; Patients Transmitting “Bad” Information; Physicians Receiving Information Badly; and Physicians Transmitting Information Badly.

In one vignette, he captures the medical divide, often generational, around social media: “Rounding residents would routinely look at the cell phones rather than pay attention to either the patients or the senior doctors, leading at least one doctor to prohibit the use of mobile devices on rounds – except for a phone break he built into the schedule, to accommodate what he described as the young doctors’ obvious addiction.”

And yet, Shaywitz sees the technology as a boon to doctor-patient communication. “I see emerging modalities as offering the profession an urgently needed chance to radically update its approach, and interact with patients, data, and each other in important new ways.”

Read the full piece here.

And read the Community Ethics Committee’s report on social media to the Harvard Ethics Leadership Group here.


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