Most people find it difficult to note the importance and the phenomenon of social networks that invade our daily lives, especially when these new tools promote exchanges and sharing of knowledge between professionals, provided you know how to combine use and ethics. To take stock of the attitude to adopt on social networks, nothing better than to rely on the recommendations of the National Council of the College of Physicians, guardian of ethics! As a reminder, social networks are websites (or mobile applications) that allow users to build a network of relationships and promote social interaction between individuals; it is, therefore, a space of public expression.
The Interest of Social Networks for Doctors and Health Institutions
Social networks have many interests, inherent in their form, for health professionals. Social networks are today one of the leading sources of information for Internet users. Well named healthcare institutions use them more and more frequently to disseminate their information, job offers, and events. The Council of the Order advises physicians to use them as an additional watch tool and to speed up the exchange and dissemination of information. A network like Twitter can share information in actual time and react very quickly. The Twitter format, which limits messages to 140 characters, promotes this speed and instantaneous sharing of information. In addition, a tweet, via retweets, can spread virally and affect many people. Healthcare professionals or institutions may, therefore, use these tools to communicate important information or an emergency (for example for an urgent need for blood donation).
Create a Collaborative Space
Social networks are by definition open and can, therefore, create new spaces for sharing, freed from physical constraints. So we see the emergence of Facebook private groups of doctors who exchange on their practices or the birth of “hashtag” that can quickly seek the advice of all connected doctors. You’ve presumably heard about #DocTocToc used by doctors on Twitter. Through this hashtag, a doctor asks a question to all other doctors and asks for their opinion on a specific case (while respecting the confidentiality of the patient). And the answers fuse!
Exchange and Network among Peers
Social networks also make it possible to maintain your network by exchanging with colleagues. A platform like Instagram lends itself very well, it allows you to present your curriculum and its various publications on a personal page and share articles in a newsfeed. The goal is not to advertise but to circulate information.
However, the use of social networks is of great importance to emotional patients. It has been discovered that patients with critical problems move into a state of a dilemma after been given the details on their health. Most doctors step up a bit to advise patients to move into the world of social media, get information concerning the medical issues, use tools like the free Instagram likes to draw the attention of people who in turn may proffer solution and advice regarding your health. The social network can also help to keep your mind free from the medical problems you are facing through engaging in an educative discussion and reading of motivational stories online.