Why visit this Blog?

Conveying useful healthcare system information, including for organ donation and transplantation, as well as a social media emphasis.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Using Social Media for information streaming in healthcare

Are you in health care and accessing social media for work purposes? Are you also comfortable with using some of the current social media platforms as tools for the streaming of information that meets your needs? If so, the following information is probably not new. However, if you do not fit in either of these two categories, then feel free to read on.

The amount of information related to health care is burgeoning whether it be in the form of facts, published scientific reports, or related to other day to day work processes. Much of this information is now sourced electronically including via the Internet. This situation has not gone unnoticed in some areas with there being an increasing realisation that somehow all of this needs to be managed. At times individuals can feel like they are "trying to drink from a fire hydrant" (Mitchell Kapoor) as pictured.

This same analogy was featured in a blog written by a medical student in Scientific American Blog-Unofficial Prognosis where the impact of this information deluge on medical students was explored.

So how can you use social media to help with your information needs regardless of where you are in the health sector? Plus why might this now be an increasingly important topic? First you need to gain familiarity with use of the most common social media platforms which include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Linked In (see below image). Then you need to ascertain which organizations, groups and individuals are relaying information via these platforms which can help meet your learning needs. As it turns out an increasing number of organizations are relaying important information via social media.


For example if you have recently joined Twitter but still feel a little unsure of how to go about finding the organizations or individuals of interest, the good news is that help is at hand. This is in the form of the Symplur hashtags project- @healthhashtags Via this Symplur web site you can find hashtags including for organizations, communities of practice(eg nursing, medicine, audiology), diseases, treatments, management and informatics. As a result of exploring the hashtags you will also be able to find relevant organizations, plus individuals on Twitter as well as their related web sites and other social media channels. As everyone has slightly different learning needs in health care, this is why it is now important that you know how to source useful information for yourself.

Finally feel free to explore, find like minded individuals and most important of all continue to learn! Also take some time to check out advice that is available on the safe use of social media platforms eg for Facebook via reputable channels including Mashable Social Media.