Monday, August 16, 2010

On the ACC's Growing Pains With Social Media

As discussed by Emily Zeigenfuse of the American College of Cardiology (ACC):
We went live on June 14, 2010, and we’ve had a few challenges. The website wasn’t 100% perfect, and our readers let us know immediately. The comments box, where we expected readers to discuss medical content, was used instead for help-desk issues, which inhibited the discussion of cardiology topics.

Since then, we’ve added a separate button to report tech problems, collaborated directly with members who left complaints, and took a second look at usability. It’s been a sleepless summer, but we’ve solved a lot of problems quickly by honestly listening to and engaging our readership.

Lastly, what other trends do you see in health care social media? What’s next?

I’m very curious about how mobile devices will fit into a doctor’s daily workflow. We know our members, by virtue of being on their feet all day, spend less time in front of a computer than those of us with desk jobs. We’re also watching how patients with chronic diseases like heart disease use social media to talk about their condition so that we can reach them in those spaces.
Kudos for the ACC for getting involved with social media. Their efforts will help pave way for others interested in using the medium creatively to address issues important to doctors and their patients.

Of course, the greatest challenge will be getting doctors to realize the benefits of social media compared to the liabilities when interacting with patients this way. Still, the value of providing rapid, reputable content to patients while improving their understanding of complicated treatments should serve to improve the caliber of health information available to our patients and might just improve outcomes.



Sue Sears Hamilton said...

Thanks for the mention, Dr. Fisher! We're not perfect, but we certainly try.

I'd love to see you active on the social network (a shameless plug, I know!):

I hope everything is going well!


Thad F. Waites, MD, FACC said...

I read you both, avidly and enjoyably.