In 2012, tension over online doctor reviews ran high. As the New York Times reported, physicians were turning to third-party reputation management firms who used legal threats to silence critical patients on the web. Information freedom non-profits and tech media outlets responded with investigations and an FTC complaint. As a former practitioner, I sympathize with some doctors’ apprehension about online reviews; the desire to protect oneself from unfair or ...

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During a routine office visit, I was discussing activities and extracurriculars with a bright 10-year old girl. She loved talking about her dance team, gymnastics, and her new hobby of horseback riding. Towards the end of our conversation, however, she said something that surprised me: “And, I am addicted to Pinterest.” I turned to her mother, who was also in the exam room, and asked, “Did you know she is on Pinterest? ...

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The transformation of healthcare in the information age The transformation of healthcare in the information ageThis is the Foreword from Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices by Kevin Pho, MD, and Susan Gay (Greenbranch Publishing, 2013). Information technology is transforming the way we teach, learn, communicate, work, play, and think. And there are few areas in which ...

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When it comes to attracting new patients using the Internet is crucial. Many people begin their searches for new products and services online. You may have heard before that word of mouth is the best type of advertising. While that is true, it is important to realize that a lot of that communication between people is happening online, rather than in person. It is important for physicians to use social media ...

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There’s been a lot of talk over the last year or so about the benefits (and some drawbacks) of physicians using social media. Social media use by physicians has become so widespread here in Canada that the Canadian Medical Association has actually developed guidelines to help physicians understand the rules of engagement on the web. But while there has been a lot of attention ...

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Even if you’re not involved on social media as a business, your employees or staff are more than likely on social media in their personal lives. And even innocent-seeming posts, tweets, pins or shares can leads to big repercussions if they are perceived as violating patient confidentiality. It is because of this that every medical office needs to set a social media policy to avoid any privacy or HIPAA violations. First ...

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The use of social media is a tricky business. A recent Wall Street Journal article points out the challenges that CEOs and business leaders face when using Twitter. Many CEOs and other executives relate stories of personal attacks and cyber stalking from disgruntled customers, former employees or competitors. Some have opted out of the social media space due to specific legal concerns. Other very successful business leaders continue ...

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By now, it’s common knowledge that people should be careful about what they post to social media sites — especially job seekers. But if you’re a resident or physician, you need to be especially careful because of HIPAA. Again, this seems like common sense. But the more popular social media becomes, the more the lines are blurred. For most people, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other sites are a part of day-to-day life. It’s easy ...

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It'll be no surprise to the readers of this blog that physicians' use of Twitter and other social media has been exploding over the last couple of years.  But it may surprise you to know how hard it is to really analyze that data. Last year Dr. Katherine Chretien of the VA Medical Center in Washington, DC, published an eye-opening study in a JAMA letter.  Until that point, ...

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Aspire to decency. Practice civility toward one another. Admire and emulate ethical behavior wherever you find it. Apply a rigid standard of morality to your lives; and if, periodically, you fail ­ as you surely will,  ­ adjust your lives, not the standards. -Ted Koppel This week started out ordinary enough but took a quick turn when I got a message from the media director at my university that a 14 month ...

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