Participatory healthcare has only just begun

Communication has always been central to good General Practice and a good General Practitioner is always learning. We adopt new medications and procedures, we see what we can do better, we engage in reflective practice. Social Media is communication in the 21st century!

Doctor's bag

Participatory healthcare has only just begun Image: pixabay.com

Imagine you’re at a friend’s party in you neighbourhood. You recognise a few of your patients. As you join the conversation you continuously blurt out phrases like: “Make sure you vaccinate your kids,” “Our practice has opened a skin clinic; it is important to get an annual skin check,” and “Here’s a copy of our latest newsletter.” When one of your patients tries to start a friendly conversation you say: “Sorry, I don’t befriend patients,” and you walk away to chat with a colleague.

You would make a complete fool of yourself.

Still, that’s how many health practitioners behave online. We often use our professional websites and social media accounts as promotional channels and we’re told not to accept patient friend requests on Facebook. When receiving positive feedback from our patients we have to be careful not to share or re-tweet it as this could be interpreted as…

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