Healthcare professionals using social media – UK study, top 10 trends

Creation Healthcare has conducted some research on UK healthcare professionals’ (HCPs) and their use of social media. The study reveals a number of interesting trends in patient engagement.

Top ten trends from healthcare professionals using social media.

healthcare professionals using social media

1. Study data – used a selection of 7,400 UK HCP profiles in more than 220 role types who had been using Twitter since at least the end of 2013.

2. Cluster networks – certain kinds of HCP roles ‘cluster’ together online, such as nurses; GPs and other physicians connecting together; and also students who actively engage with qualified healthcare professionals.

3. Worldwide connections – data gathered was from a previous worldwide study, plotting 90,000 HCP Twitter profiles which provides UK HCPs the opportunity to collaborate in real time with peers almost anywhere in the world.

4. Most-followed peers – Ben Goldacre and Christian Jessen are among the HCPs most-followed by other HCPs, they also have huge public followings of several hundred thousand followers; others, like Dr Helgi, Anne-Marie Cunningham, or Trisha Greenhalgh have a high percentage of followers that are HCPs.

5. HCP role types – among the role types most followed by peers are various kinds of specialists (like medical director), surgeons (like trauma surgeon), and nurses (like acute care nurse).

6. Social doctor – is the doctor who engages with other health stakeholders via social media to share information using Twitter for short posts, engaging with groups on Google Plus and using LinkedIn to connect.

7. HCPs conversations – UK HCPs exchange ideas that are shaping their own learning and touching on health policy to spark active discussions.

8. Learning from peers – HCPs ask advice about drug treatments gaining replies from international experts to help gather evidence based data.

9. Patient engagement – there are some HCPS who have frequent conversations with patients and the public, covering personal clinical questions and public health matters such as Dr Christian Jessen.

10. HCP being a patient – there is a powerful trend among HCPs in social media when they share their personal experience and thoughts as a patient stimulating constructive conversations.

It’s clear from this research social media has helped spread compassionate healthcare conversations far and wide, which in turn has changed behaviours touching patients and caregivers.

What are your views on open HCP’s using social media? Share your views on Twitter.

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