Social networking is currently one of the biggest modes of communication in health care to day. within communities of healthcare professionals, providers find medical advice and best =practices, job openings and career tips, research and product information, as well as the opportunity to securely communicate with peers. In clinical practice, patient-focused networks are often built around a particular condition or disease, giving individuals and their families supportive communities where they receive comfort , insights, and potential leads on new treatments.
Healthcare social networks also address the industry’s privacy and security mandates. The data mining practices of sites like Facebook and Twitter make some patients and providers leery of posting questions or comments. By sharing data on specialized sites– especially those that plainly detail their security and privacy policies– healthcare professionals and other users can feel safer about expressing their thoughts.
In Public health social media tools such as twitter and Facebook are allowing public health officials to reach out fast and directly to the public on everything from salmonella – related food recalls to disease outbreaks and weather emergencies. In public health , these social medial tools allow users to switch easily between the roles of audience and content producers .
Federal agencies such as the CDC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have recognized the power of social media, using the broad reach of the online community to help distribute important health information and learn what issues are popping up across the country at any given time.
In the evidence-based world of public health , coming up with the true measurements of social media effectiveness poses a challenge , but as the tools are used more frequently , data is emerging .