Jewels Doskicz is a registered nurse, freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. Jewels is the moderator of Diabetic Connect’s weekly #DCDE Twitter chat, and she and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.
Online healthcare is a hot topic in medicine and one that's ignited patient's interest globally. It's smart. It's sexy. It makes sense.
Connecting quickly with a healthcare provider is a priority with chronic disease. In fact, for simple questions it may serve as a perfect solution to clear out a waiting room. Have your answer lickity-split via twitter! Not so fast - but we're getting there.
Why do some doctors resist social media?
Most practices have at minimum a website, but can you interact with it? Good luck finding an email address to many offices, especially if your question revolves around seeking medical advice.
But with a secure system in place, data can easily be sent for interpretation and recommendations received between appointments — which can equate to making giant steps in diabetes management before the next appointment.
Doctors such as Wendy Sue Swanson of Seattle Momma Doc Blog and Dr. Neu are practicing in new and exciting ways utilizing social media. According to PewInternet.org, 72 percent of Internet users say they looked online for health information in 2014. That's nearly 3/4ths of us!
A small minority of providers actually recommend websites and interactive hubs for patients with similar diagnoses. With such litigious possibilities many are unwilling to participate until they are the final holdouts.
Why pave the path less traveled?
Patients crave the understanding and knowledge that is generated from others living with or parenting to the same disease. It creates a community of sharing and a source of information once kept under lock and key.
According to the New York Times, "like it or not…the Internet has profoundly changed the patient-doctor relationship, and doctors must embrace its effects on patient care — or risk losing their own influence. This is a social media manifesto for physicians."