Recent studies carried out by CSC’s Global Institute for Emerging Healthcare Practices and PwC Health Research Institute reveal that social media could prove to be a great customer service tool and a wonderful avenue for reporting that could facilitate better care and improved results. Physicians now have the opportunity to identify communities of people that they can monitor and learn from, and use the information to improve practice performance.
- Social media outlets help physicians to gather information regarding patients’ efforts and their willingness to adopt means to improve their health, as well as the impediments in their way.
- Physicians can find out what kind of services patients are looking for.
- They could provide the information patients are looking for regarding particular diseases and health conditions. At the same time, such discussions would also help physicians in their service development efforts.
- Physicians can track health trends and learn about ‘hot spots’ for disease outbreaks. This would enable providing the necessary interventions and therapies.
- Customer service can be improved and patient satisfaction ensured through appropriate responses to complaints and concerns expressed via social media. Physician practices get to know of problematic situations immediately and can take steps to remedy the issues.
- Another benefit offered by social media is the feedback physicians can receive regarding therapies and medications provided. Side effects of certain drugs, therapies that are effective, new therapies – these comprise some of the details physicians can get to know through social media conversations.
- Physician practices can compare their performance with other providers and work to enhance their service and improve patient satisfaction. They will get a clear view of their practice and the improvement required.
The studies mentioned above showed that roughly one third of the patients were willing to have their social media conversations monitored if they could benefit from improved clinical quality or care co-ordination.