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SOCIAL MEDIA IN HEALTH CARE: ITS ROLE IN BOOSTING MORALE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Social media has become a vital part of life, affecting and affecting various aspects of human existence. With social media such as Face book and Twitter registering tens of millions of daily users and more registering daily, social media cannot be ignored. Social media has unique advantages that have become vital for use in healthcare. The health care industry can no longer ignore the advancement of technology. The relationship between the strengths of social media and emerging health care issues often results in significant improvements in the performance indicators of the industry such as cost, quality of service provision, and speed in delivery of healthcare services.
Social media offers a channel through which healthcare consumers can access information and communication about wellness and achievements in the medical field. In the past, advancements in medical technology took time to reach consumers who may need such information. The potential of growth in social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and My space, provides users with the ability to find information and services easily online by ensuring that members are not only connected but can also join interest groups. According to (Qualman 2009) it is not clear what exactly has generated interest in social media, and the exact measurable benefits that can arise in healthcare from the use of social media. However, even though understanding and researching social media might be difficult, healthcare stakeholders cannot ignore it altogether. Social media can play a vital role in improving the industry as a whole, control chronic diseases, and ensure high-quality geriatric care. The use of social media in healthcare is similar to systems that are employed for the improvement of business service provision.
- The use of social media in healthcare leads to improvement of the working conditions in the health care sector
- The use of social media in healthcare allows for easy provision of services to patients which in turn boosts morale
- Can Social media such as Facebook and Twitter be used to improve the working conditions of the personnel?
- Does social media improve the provision of services and boost morale?
SOCIAL MEDIA IN HEALTHCARE
The role that social media plays in healthcare cannot be denied. The importance of social media in improving the industry itself and the services provided to consumers. Stakeholders agree that social media has provided a unique avenue for improvement.
The future of health care lies in preventive care which involves a lot of energy and time often demoralizing the workers. (Dejong 2013) states that governments and other stakeholders in the health care industry are focused on ensuring that prevention comes before cure. Matters such as vaccinations are vital in prevention. Insurance companies have taken the prevention care seriously, continuously encouraging and requiring their members to lead healthy lifestyles. This includes disseminating information on nutrition, exercise, and general lifestyle choices. The internet has made it easier to send information. Social media can be accessed through various channels. One does not necessarily have to own a computer or even a laptop, mobile phones, and tablets among other devices are enabled to provide social media services. Customers often attempt to or access information through the various apps on their devices. With such easy dissemination of information, it’s easy for doctors and other medical stakeholders to ensure preventive care is a success.
(Taylor and Field 2007) customers are often encouraged to update their own profiles, in addition to information about their general life. Doctors can access such information and create a database that is quite useful in ensuring that potential ailments are prevented. With today’s technology it is possible and in fact, has become a trend for doctors to monitor their own patients remotely. Whereas traditional, patients would be required to attend clinics where they are checked for potential ailments and diseases. Various apps often broadcast reminders for the patients for potential ailments, care, and management at home, and physical examination requirements. (Franklin 1999) in his study found that there was a direct increase in patients visiting doctors for physical checkups and examinations for those doctors who made use of social media. Patients who get reminders and messages from their doctors for potential checkups and issues that they need to take care of about their health are most likely to remember their appointments. Further, (Sturm 2010) also found that doctors who make use of social media also had an increase in patients who kept track of their vaccinations and well-being appointments. For mothers on social media, constant reminders of vaccinations and baby care ensured that postnatal care is not forgotten.
(Mason et al 2012) analyzed social media from the perspective of patients and found that the majority of the diseases are easily identified and treated in the early stages. Often before visiting the doctor’s office, patients seek information about the symptoms they are experiencing. Sometimes they share such symptoms on social media, wherewith the help of professionals and other patients they receive help on the diagnosis. Further, doctors and medical personnel are also able to share information on various diseases which are hard to diagnose. (Murero and Rice 2006) analyzed diabetes patients in his study. He found that majority of the individuals who were diagnosed early read information and gathered data from social media. Through social media updates by medical doctors and stakeholders in the medical field, they began suspecting and eventually went for tests on diabetes where they were diagnosed early. The result is that they in turn were able to manage their disease better. Early diagnosis increases the chance of excellent management, reduces the suffering of the patient, and in turn makes the chances of survival higher. According to (Gordon 2005) currently, the internet is awash with information on the diagnosis of various rare cancer diseases. Such diseases have claimed several lives because they are diagnosed late. In an attempt to change the current, doctors are turning to social media to disseminate vital information on diagnosis techniques, symptoms, and even probabilities of infection. (Brent 2003) suggests that one of the most successful campaigns upon which other campaigns are modeled after is the breast cancer campaign. 60% of women on social media often receive updates on breast cancer screening and diagnosis. Further, social media has successfully carried out several campaigns about fighting breast cancer. (Crompton 1990) concludes that many more women have access to all the information they need and require for self-diagnosis. They can join together in groups to fight off the scourge that has become breast cancer. Using different apps, each day women can diagnose, seek treatment, and learn more about breast cancer without having to leave the comfort of their
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