The Doctor is…Online?

By Earl Whipple

Is your doc blogging? New technology is reshaping the health landscape, enabling healthcare professionals to directly connect with the public, their patients and each other.  With that in mind, I’ve compiled the first “AstraZeneca Health Connections Collection” – a list of resources that have caught my eye and I want to share with you. Today’s Collection focuses on online physician engagement.

Would you blog with your doctor? What do you think of the selections below? Take a moment to comment and let me know what you think.

1) NPR’s “Shots” Health blog: In a recent post, Chao Deng writes about physicians communicating with patients via email. Deng acknowledges the convenience of email but also notes that low usage of email between physicians and patients is not surprising given caution about patients’ health information when responding.

2) The Wall Street Journal Health blog: This Katherine Hobson post discusses the Mayo Clinic’s* innovative approach to digital health care through the launch of a Center for Social Media, which will expand social media tools for staff, physicians and patients.

3) The Get Better Health blog: Featured blogger Dr. Westby Fisher ‘s Doctors and Social Media post takes up the argument that social media may not be the best way for physicians to interact with patients, but may be perfect for interacting with colleagues.

4) KevinMD: Dr. Walter van den Broek blogs about the potential dangers associated with physician use of social networking sites, including potential breaches of privacy and confidentiality.

5) 33 Charts blog: Dr. Bryan Vartabedian poses his thoughts around Why Few Doctors Blog, and suggests reasons ranging from ignorance about social technology for facilitating dialogue to a greater attraction to the “fast moving streams” of Twitter and Facebook.

*Disclosure: AstraZeneca and the Mayo Clinic have business relationships in place related to AstraZeneca clinical trials and the Mayo Clinic is compensated to manage one of AstraZeneca’s employee health programs.  AstraZeneca has also financially supported medical education programs at the Mayo Clinic.