Medical practices are beginning to discover the benefits of social media. According to the Pew Research Center, 74% of adults aged 18-49 are using social networking sites (SNS) and it is growing rapidly. For medical practices, it is a great way to not only reach potential patients but also keep in touch with current ones by providing updates on how to use social media to improve your medical practice.
So, what if you’re new to social media? Where do you begin? Well, this guide should help medical practices who want to add social media marketing to their medical practice.
Why do medical practices use social media?
The most obvious answer to this question is to increase your patient base. That’s true but let’s look at a couple more reasons:
First social media can be used to reach your patients. In the medical world, this means reaching mom’s around town with children who have asthma or kids who are in daycare because they’ll be more likely to trust your medical advice knowing you’re just like them.
Another reason is for online reputation management. Consumers are turning to online reviews prior to making buying decisions. The same goes for the medical arena as well.
How important is getting ahead of reputation management by being proactive? Well, medical practices with websites rank higher in search engine results than those without. That goes for social media as well.
However, before we look at each individual social media platform, understand social media is more than just a Facebook page or Twitter account, it is having an active and engaging medical presence on various social media platforms. It includes things like medical blogs, forums posts, reviews, and ratings. Doctors and medical practices need to make sure that they’re not just creating profiles for the sake of having one but rather are using their medical social media accounts is more than just a means for self-promotion amongst peers. The only way to become an expert in your field is by actually becoming one through experience.
Now let’s delve into the top platforms doctors are using today.
Facebook groups offer another great way to interact. Professional medical associations, for example, can set up medical practice groups that doctors can join. Doctors will be able to discuss medical topics with each other and give advice on medical cases they may have dealt with in the past. These medical practice groups are a great way to form friendships amongst those who share similar medical interests as well as learn from others about new medical practices that you may not know about yet.
LinkedIn is the more professional version of Facebook. LinkedIn medical groups are great ways for doctors to share their experiences, knowledge, and updates about medical practices with others in their field across the world.
Twitter is a powerful medical marketing tool that can connect those in the medical industry as well as create new leads. If individuals find your tweets valuable and interesting they will follow and retweet them which will eventually lead to increased exposure for your medical practice business page and website through followers sharing links on their feeds or retweets appearing on their timelines.
Instagram is a great visual tool for your medical marketing. It’s the perfect medium to show off your practice’s human side. Obviously, sticking with topics that won’t violate privacy laws is vital, but the visual appeal of Instagram can be a fun, and informative way, to connect with other medical professionals, and patients.
Google my business
One way to help create the narrative online when someone searches for your practice is by keeping up with your Google My Business section. This includes medical practices’ hours, contact information, website, and reviews (you need to be reactive and show you care).
Make your space on medical practice directories
Register with medical practice directories. This will help potential clients connect with you more easily as well as improve your search engine visibility through the links to your site.
Regardless of how you decide to leverage social media, ensure that you post informative and engaging content. Keep the social, in social media!
Doctors are often too busy to take care of themselves. They work long hours, and when they finally have some free time, they don’t know how to relax. This can lead to burnout or fatigue that can affect their performance. In this post, we will discuss why doctors need to take time for themselves and the importance of relaxation in order to stay healthy.
A systemic review of surveys and interventions from the UK, Australia, and New Zealand suggests that providing doctors with opportunities to take time for themselves is correlated with better health outcomes.
Many options exist for a doctor looking to relax! Some examples include: taking walks, partaking in a hobby, meditation, and other exercises.
Let’s take a close look at the benefits of walking — many think walking isn’t as beneficial as other, more intensive exercises but they’d be wrong.
A study in the British Medical Journal found that people who walk as little as 30 minutes a day live longer and have a more balanced outlook. Walking is also effective at reducing stress levels, lowering the risk of depression, and improving overall productivity. This makes it an excellent way to unwind.
When not taking a walk, or if walking isn’t your speed, why not try a new hobby. Cooking is a great way to relax and unwind. This allows doctors the chance to focus on something other than their work.
A different study found that spending time with friends can also reduce stress levels by more than 50%. What’s better? The participants in this study were able to decrease their blood pressure.
And even doing something simple like putting together a puzzle can make a world of difference. Research has found that doing a puzzle, or completing a Sudoku, decreases the level of stress hormones in your body.
How about meditation? This ancient practice has been shown to reduce stress and increase relaxation.
According to a study, meditation can help you fall asleep faster — which is why it can even become part of your routine before bedtime.
Everyone who is still working can benefit from taking time to relax and rejuvenate their mind. These simple activities can help doctors manage their stress levels and ultimately improve patient care!
One last note. Another way to free up time to destress and unwind is delegating. An expert partner can take work off your plate and allow you to focus on core tasks, and yes, provide more moments to take care of yourself.
Whether you are working remotely, or from the office, having a secured computer is essential. This scenario heightens when you are dealing with sensitive medical data like patient records. Leaving your system wide open for a cyber-attack is never an option. But what actions can you take to ensure that your PC is safe from those who want to do harm mainly healthcare hackers? Hopefully, you have IT security experts or a computer administrator that can assist you. However, if you don’t, you may need to take matters into your own hands. Here’s what you can do.
Install an effective antivirus program
Even a good antivirus program won’t make your computer completely secure from viruses and malware, but having one available is better than nothing. And before committing to one program over another, shop around and be thorough when reading reviews.
Stay current with system updates
Updates to your OS and other software programs can be intrusive. However, they are also necessary in keeping your computer system up-to-date and more secure. If they seem intrusive, schedule updates outside of your busy times to avoid headaches.
Encrypt local files
We aren’t talking about the files in your file cabinet, although those should be secure too. In this case, encrypting refers to the files on your PC. You don’t have to lock down all information, but encrypt files that contain sensitive information. There are good programs available that can safeguard against unauthorized activity.
Password protect all of your devices
Our focus has been on computers, but security doesn’t begin and end with PCs. You have to lock down your smartphones and tablets just like you would your main work system. Remember your security is only as strong as its weakest point. Install antivirus and antimalware on your mobile devices and spoiler alert also consider using a VPN.
Use a VPN
Are you completing some of your work in a coffee shop or a café? Then most likely you are using a public Wi-Fi network. Here’s a newsflash: these networks aren’t secure. A virtual private network, or VPN, can help secure your connection when you are accessing a public Wi-Fi router. Again, install the VPN on all your devices you will utilize for work.
Leave it to a security professional
Experts are experts for a reason. They know their stuff. If you are storing or accessing, sensitive data then asking for help is probably the best option. Even if your practice or health center lacks this expertise, you may want to consider outsourcing and leaning on a well-educated, experienced opinion. Your clients are worth it.
These six tips aren’t meant to be an all-inclusive guide to completely securing your computer and mobile devices. But they are a good start. It can’t be repeated enough. If you have access to security experts use them.