Twitter and Facebook can help conduct group patient visits

There are some medical centers that are investing in the concept of group visits.

The concept, as I wrote awhile back, involves shared medical appointments, comprised of patients with similar medical conditions. A medical team, typically including a doctor, nurse, and other support staff, would then counsel patients as a group, and address issues common to everyone in the room.

Can the emergence of social media, like Facebook and Twitter, facilitate this idea?

Maybe.

In an interesting post by Elizabeth Han, who blogs at the excellent Hospital Songs, she gives an example of how Twitter (via the client Twitterfall) can be incorporated in the group visit:

We might get lots of great discussion, but wouldn’t it be nice if a portion of the visit could focus on addressing “trending topics”? So, once again:

1. Take 10 minutes at the midpoint of the visit and have everyone tweet their feelings, keywords, anything.
2. Visualize in real-time with Twitterfall.
3. Discuss, discuss, discuss!

One of a group visit’s strengths is the support patients can offer one another, combined with their common issues being immediately addressed by the medical team.

Online social tools can enhance that collaboration, not only during the visit, but perhaps long afterwards.

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