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Social Media and the Health Sector Essay

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Updated: May 11th, 2022

Introduction

Owing to the current trends in information and technology, information sharing in the health sector has greatly improved. As such, the paper seeks to explore some of the avenues through which the social media has revolutionized the health sector. Has it brought a curse to the healthcare or is it a necessity in the sector?

This work is going to conclusively address the role of the social media in healthcare, its effects on the implementation of the mandates of the sector. It will also address how to effectively harness the “power” of the social media to improve healthcare. In my opinion, I feel the health sector should embrace the application of social media in the practice of nursing, however, temperance must be observed in using social media for the sole benefit of enhancing quality.

Role of social media in healthcare

A study by KPMG on social media, established that the interactive platform offered by the social media has greatly improved the healthcare quality. The sharing of information on health related issues has led to quality improvement in the sector (Mukhopadhyay, 2013). The report highlights the significance of information in the sector; it asserts that the primary fulcrum through which quality healthcare revolves around is pegged on proper communication between the stakeholders (Belt and Berben, 2012).

An internet peer research centre published a journal after carrying out a web research in the year 2010 in the US. In the survey, out of a sample of 3001 adults interviewed, 80% said they relied on the internet and social media for their health information. The research also asserted that 15% relied on mobile phones for information (Jain, 2010).

American academy of orthopedic surgeons argue, 2012 primer: social media in healthcare, that the social media has led to improved collaborative approach in healthcare, this is attributed to the fact that the information researched by one individual is synthesized by other professionals online to come up with concrete information on any health issues. Conversely, important scientific processes related to health issues have been compiled under content management systems like the applications on laboratory tests, thus making it very easy to access such services.

Adverts placed in the social media have also impacted positively on the sector. It is very easy to find healthcare professionals online than using any other avenue. The KPMG survey conclusively addressed the significance of the social sites in provision of directions to the clients. The clients’ effort in establishing physical contacts with their physicians has been reduced by 33%. There is a great ease in accessing information about the healthcare workers, establishing their capability and their working itinerary in case one wants to book for an appointment (Belt and Berben, 2012).

From the scholarly publications discussed above, one fact clearly comes out: social media have played a very fundamental role in the healthcare sector; the fact that communication between health professionals and the patient can be shared has immensely contributed to the quality improvement in the sector. Consultations and appointments have been enhanced; moreover, a collaborative approach has been effectively used to treat patients using the social media. The peer journals quoted in the preceding paragraphs have all emphasized the significance of enhanced communications between healthcare stakeholders.

It is thus very factual to argue that the social media will be thee tool to advance healthcare practice to a higher level. The economic implications the media have on the sector are very significant in deed. The continual use of these media should be enhanced so as to further provide support for the sector.

Canada is a well developed country. The IT sector is well developed and quite a good percentage of the population is endowed with very basic IT essential skills. Application of social media in the healthcare within Canada is very systemic. The Canadian Medical Association has so far published the rules of engagements by the physicians towards the social media. They however argue that it is a proper tool for improving communication in healthcare settings. They however argue that there should be a well defined difference between a professional life and their personal lives. The association has listed and published some of the ethical issues involved in the regulation of the use of social media in the healthcare industry. It is therefore an important phenomenon in Canada.

According to CMA, nurses believe social media provides both legal and professional risks in its application to healthcare, they are also uncertain on the boundaries of their applications.

Conclusion

The healthcare sector must fully embrace a dynamic approach in enhancing the quality of its services; the sector cannot be left behind in tapping the “fruits” IT has brought. This therefore means that the nursing profession should fully embrace the application of social media in running various health programs. It is however very important to provide regulations and proper frameworks to seal the loopholes that seem to stem in the profession as a result of the use of social media.

References

Are you practicing proper social networking etiquette? (2009) Forbes.com. Web.

Belt, T. V., & Berben, S. (2012). Social media in healthcare. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 14(3), 16-21.

Jain, S. (2009). Practicing Medicine in the Age of Facebook. The New England Journal of Medicine,361(7), 649-651.

Mukhopadhyay, S. C. (2013). Pervasive and mobile sensing and computing for healthcare technological and social issues. Berlin: Springer.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Social Media and the Health Sector." May 11, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-media-and-the-health-sector/.

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