The dissemination of medical information online in real time has forever changed the relationship between today's physician and patient. The idea that accurate and meaningful information can only flow in one direction is now extinct.
How can mental health professionals take advantage of social media (SM)—in the form of online forums, microblogs (eg, Twitter), video, blogs, social networks, and podcasts1—and use it as an opportunity to engage with patients and improve their care?
Here to discuss is Dr Farris Timimi, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic and Medical Director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media in Rochester, Minn. Dr Timimi can be found on Twitter at @FarrisTimimi.
Take home points
• SM is an opportunity for physicians to change community outcomes and improve patient care
• Because the 3 most common online activities include internet search, e-mail, and searching for health care information, physicians are obligated to put reliable health care information in the path of the patient
• SM is a logical extension of clinical practice, research, and education
• Content curation and content creation have “profound value” to patients and caregiver, so it is incumbent upon physicians to develop and review their organizational SM policy guide1
1. Timimi FK. Medicine, morality and health care. BMC Med. 2012;2;10:83.