August 2, 2012

Medicine, Morality and Health Care Social Media


That's the title of a commentary by Mayo Clinic cardiologist Farris Timimi, M.D. published today in BMC Medicine, a leading open-access journal based in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Timimi, the medical director for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, believes medical professionals have a moral obligation to engage in social platforms.

Here's a sampler of his commentary:

The use of social media has grown exponentially and time spent on social media sites now represents one in five minutes spent online. Concomitant with this online growth, there has been an inverse trajectory in direct face-to-face patient-provider moments, which continue to become scarcer across the spectrum of health care. In contrast to standard forms of engagement and education, social media has advantages to include profound reach, immediate availability, an archived presence and broad accessibility. Our opportunity as health care providers to partner with our patients has never been greater, yet all too often we allow risk averse fears to limit our ability to truly leverage our good content effectively to the online community. This risk averse behavior truly limits our capacity to effectively engage our patients where they are — online.

As outlined in the BioMed Central Blog, Dr. Timimi will be joining BMC editors in a Twitter chat about social media in health care using the #BMCMed hashtag on Monday, August 6 at 1 p.m. UK time (which is 8 a.m. EDT, 7 a.m. CDT and 5 a.m. PDT).

See the post for a list of topics we'll be discussing, and of course the conversation can continue even beyond the one hour on Monday, which will be really helpful since the chat is at such an early hour for our West coast (and Australian) colleagues.

Please spread the word and join us!

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