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Twitter: Keeping in touch with patients…and keeping them in touch with you

Posted Apr 27 2009 10:38pm

Twitter is a great social media tool that allows us to connect with celebrities, news medial outlets, and our friends.  For health care professionals, there’s utility in the tool for us as well.

Think of it this way: If I told you that there was a way to know what your patients were doing, thinking, and planning on a daily basis, would you be interested?  What if you wanted to know if, when, and what your patients were saying about you and your practice when they talk to their friends…would you be curious?

I bet the answer would be yes…and yes.

Twitter is a tool that does just this.  And while there are challenges and barriers that exist to the use of Twitter for health care professionals, don’t let yourself be caught off guard by a competitor that starts using the platform before you do to improve, retain, build, and expand their patient base…just because they’ve found an innovative way to connect.

In a recent article within ACP Internist, the use of Twitter as a tool within the health care professions is discussed.  It’s a great article and a recommended read.

Imagine a future where you can with a click of the mouse see what your patients and colleagues read on the Internet this morning, what they ate for lunch, and what they’re working on right now.

Whether that sounds to you like a potential practice innovation or a disaster of oversharing probably indicates whether you’ll have any use for Twitter, the most hyped Internet innovation of the year. Twitter is a Web site that allows users to instantly communicate messages of up to 140 characters to their online audiences.

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