All Posts tagged Social media
Facebook, Twitter and online patient support groups and forums can be a valuable medical resource, say doctors who have met in Victoria to discuss how they use social media.
Original Article by Rachel Worsley in 6-Minutes
Queensland GP Dr Edwin Kruys says some of his patients have chosen to see him because they are aware of his presence on social media and have followed his discussions about health topics.
He draws the line at giving clinical advice online, however, and encourages people with specific presentations to see a doctor in person.
Dr Jill Tomlinson, a Victoria hand surgery specialist, says she uses Twitter and Facebook to share evidence-based information about her services as well as engage with patients.
She led a campaign earlier this year against proposed AHPRA guidelines that would have held doctors responsible for removing unsolicited testimonials posted by patients on websites and social media channels.
She says social media bridges the gap between patients and practitioners and are a force of positive change in healthcare.
Jen Morris, a public health researcher at the University of Melbourne, says doctors who are reluctant to recognise the value of social media may inadvertently lose patients’ trust.
She describes this as “cyber snobbery” and says it discourages patients from being honest with practitioners about why they are worried about a particular drug or vaccine, or about why they want to see a particular specialist.
Patients would continue to research their condition and seek opinion online regardless of discouragement from doctors, she told delegates at the “SoMebytheSea” conference.
The role of the modern doctor, she says, is to proactively address any inaccurate information found online and to navigate their patients to the best resources.
Ms Morris says social media adds to the principle of informed choice by providing ongoing feedback about the quality of service provided by practitioners.
Patients want to know about fees, bedside manner and insurance arrangements just as much as they want to know about medication side-effects and screening test accuracy, she says.
“These are the things that matter to patients and these are the things that they are sharing on social media.”
Find us on Social Media
More Articles on Social Media
Ever wondered how people living with a disability access social media? Read more here
When you’re hosting an event or conference, using a hashtag is one of the smartest ways to organise and share information at your event. A hashtag is a search term preceded with the # symbol, used within social media to identify tweets and messages around a specific topic. Hashtags are easy once you know how and you can hook into social media conversations quickly and easily by learning how to them. Check out our 5 Top Tips & Tricks to get you hashtagging like a pro.
1. Be unique
With millions of hashtags in use across multiple platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+) it’s important to choose one that’s unique to your event. When you’re choosing a hashtag, check it against existing hashtags using a directory such as www.hashtags.org. It’s best to check before you allocate a hashtag to a particular event. You don’t want your hashtag to be associated with an unrelated event or group not aligned with your core values.
2. Short is best
Considering Twitter has a limit of 140 characters, it’s best to opt for a short hashtag. With shorter hashtags you can avoid using too many tweet characters and stay on message. Our rule of thumb is to use no more than ten characters per hashtag. Use acronyms and dates eg; #eGPS2015
3. Say no to spaces
A hashtag will not become a live tag (a searchable hashtag that links to other tweets and posts listed under that topic) unless it contains absolutely no spaces or punctuation. Adding a space or a comma to a hashtag eg; #eGPS 2015 breaks the hashtag, rendering it virtually useless. It is possible to use an underscore eg; #eGPS_2015
4. Promote your hashtag
In the event lead-up, be sure to promote your unique hashtag across a wide social media audience. Use topic hashtags and link back to the event website. You’ll create interest in the conference theme and drive traffic back to the website where attendees can register.
#eGPS2015 is just around the corner. We’ll be talking
#healthcare & #socialmedia Event program & registration
www.crowdcomms.com.au [132 characters]
At 132 characters, this tweet leaves space for 8 valuable characters. Enough room for someone to RT your tweet, extending the reach of that tweet to a wider audience. Even better, mention a group with an interest in your area by using the @ symbol and their Twitter handle.
@hcsmanz coming to #eGPS2015? Topics include
#healthcare #socialmedia #hcsm Event program & registration
www.crowdcomms.com.au [127 characters]
[#hcsm = healthcare social media; a popular hashtag]
5. Don’t go #crazy
Avoid spattering your tweet with unnecessary or irrelevant hashtags. Apart from appearing unprofessional, a tweet with too many hashtags is unlikely to get retweeted. Keep it simple.
#eGPS2015 Who’s #meeting for #coffee
in the #garden #cafe today? #ilovecoffee #LOL
Best practice is to add your unique event hashtag to every tweet associated with that event. You can add one or two additional topic hashtags and a mention to increase your searchability and RT potential.
Great crowd gathered today at #eGPS2015
talking #media & #health. Thanks @eGPSolutions
for a top session on #hcsm.
Getting the most out of your hashtag is easy when you know how. Using our top tips and tricks will help you to promote your conference or event, expand your audience and share your key messages across social media.
e-GPS regularly attend conferences and events using Twitter hashtags to network and disseminate information. We tweet live from your event, joining online conversations in real-time and share your key conference messages with a wider audience. e-GPS will also deliver interactive Twitter training workshops for your conference attendees.
Contact us www.e-GPS.com.au
Follow e-GPS on Twitter @eGPSolutions
and give a big thumbs up on Facebook
How active are you on social media?
Are you on Facebook? Do you watch YouTube? What about Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram?
Given you are reading this post - it’s highly likely you found us via one/all of these social media platforms.
That’s why we’re in business - because health professionals and health consumers just like you are increasingly using social media for their health information and networking.
Everyone knows about Facebook and YouTube - (if you don’t you really need to Contact us)
But what about LinkedIn?
We call it Facebook for Professionals - but better! It’s just as easy to use, you can post your latest updates as often or as little as you like and you can build a valuable professional network (without the irritation of tagging or fluffy kitten photos).
With over 1.5 million health professionals already networking via LinkedIn, the benefits speak for themselves. In case they don’t, here are 5 reasons why health professionals should be LinkedIn:
1. You’re busy. Really busy. And your colleagues are busy. Not many health professionals have the time or energy to read up on emerging trends, research, policy or news and current affairs that affect health and its many disciplines. LinkedIn is a forum where health professionals are constantly posting updates to inform, engage and sometimes enrage. The key word here is engage. Engage with other health professionals, organisations, key opinion leaders, advocates, health consumers and policy makers in your own time, and at your own pace.
2. You can network with health professionals who have similar goals and experience. Unlike Facebook, this type of networking is not about parties, relationships or how many marshmallows one can stick up their nose. LinkedIn is serious business for professional people. LinkedIn members share research articles, conference highlights, health events, policy updates, opinion pieces, social commentary and tips and tricks including how to write a brilliant CV and find your perfect job. It’s all here, and all very professional.
3. By joining LinkedIn, you can form special interest groups. For example, nurses who work in the field of ATOD (Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs) have the opportunity of engaging with their national peak body, DANA - Drug and Alcohol Nurses of Australasia. DANA regularly post on Facebook and Twitter and now they have started a LinkedIn profile where health professionals can connect and share ideas. But it’s not only health professionals with an interest in ATOD who can connect with DANA. Mental health nurses, non-government organisations and community programs with miniscule budgets for marketing their initiatives are free to form special interest groups and conduct forums, gathering opinion and experience from health professionals who work at the coalface.
4. Be prepared for the emergence of digital healthcare. The world of healthcare is changing rapidly and there is nowhere better to find out about digital health technology advances than via social media. As a health professional you will increasingly be expected to have an understanding of how digital health is progressing and what this means for the future of health care. Mobile health, wearable health technology, closed loop medication dispensing, virtual therapy and telehealth are all discussed on LinkedIn within specialist Digital Health groups who welcome new members. In our next post, we’ll share some of these groups and how to join.
5. Land your dream job. Of course, LinkedIn began its life primarily as a job seeking network for professionals. Apart from all the networking and educational opportunities, LinkedIn is the place where you can be seen in an entirely professional space with multiple career opportunities spread out before you. All you need to do is have a great LinkedIn profile with a current resume and cover letter easily uploadable from your desktop. LinkedIn is free to join however you can upgrade to the premium jobseekers profile which allows you to view other applicants, the salary range for the position and give the opportunity of connecting with the HR or job poster for more information.
LinkedIn? It’s more a question of why wouldn’t you.
Follow on LinkedIn
e-GPS General Practice Solutions
DANA on LinkedIn
Digital Breakthrough Health
How Conference presentations can benefit from Twitter
Recent research from The George Institute, University of Sydney, highlighted the potential of social media to connect consumers, health professionals and organisations.
The George Institute team presented this poster at the 60th Annual scientific meeting of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) 2012 and posted it on Twitter.
e-GPS saw that tweet, connected with the entire team via Twitter, retweeted the study, wrote a blog post about the power of Twitter in health, and drove a wider conversation about this important research through social media. We were instrumental in disseminating the study findings via Twitter and Facebook and we enabled valuable connections and networks beyond the scope of the conference delegates.
Read our blog post Engaging the cardiovascular community via Twitter. Research findings by The George Institute here.
2014 Conference Apps are where it’s at!
2014 is the year of the Conference App and e-GPS have the pick of the Apps to suit your Health Event.
Our Conference App Package saves you time and energy by using a streamlined, highly intuitive content management system.
Dazzle your event participants with an app that is fast, efficient and flexible.
Upload event data quickly, fully customise your event, enhance engagement, alert and update attendees on event proceedings.
Go mobile with your next Health Event!
Contact us today to learn more about our Health Conference Apps
Chlamydia in Teens
Health experts warn that an epidemic of chlamydia may cause a wave of infertility in young Australians.1
The past decade has seen a steady rise in sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Australia.2 Professor David Wilson, from the Kirby Institute estimates that rates of chlamydia have tripled over a ten-year period.3 Chlamydia is the most frequently notified infection in Australia with almost 83,000 cases diagnosed in 2012. The rise in chlamydia diagnosis is partly due to increased testing however, the Kirby Institute estimate that one in twenty young Australians have chlamydia and many don’t even know they have it.
The Burnet Institute recently reported that the group who have the highest percentage of positive test results are girls aged 12-15 years (13%) compared with females 16-19 years (12 %) and 20-24 years (8%).4 In males, the highest percentage of positive chlamydia tests were in those aged 16-19 years (15%) followed by 20-24 year olds (13%) and 12 to 15 year olds (9%).4 These figures may come as a surprise, but according to Carol El-Hayek, 12 to 15 year olds are definitely sexually active - and many of this age group are practising unsafe sex. Add to this the confounding factor that around 70% of females and 50% of males with chlamydia have no symptoms, so may pass on infection without knowing.5
For information about chlamydia symptoms, testing and treatment see What is Chlamydia?
Getting more Teens to Screen
Clearly, Australian teenagers as young as 12 years old are vulnerable to STIs, and the younger they are, the less likely they are to be tested. This age group are more likely to seek a test only after symptoms appear, or if they are identified as being at risk of unprotected sex by their GP, parent/carer or school counsellor.3
Chlamydia & Cyberspace
What’s also clear, is that young people are getting much of their health information from cyberspace. The internet plays a vital role in educating young people about STIs in a way that is familiar, non-judgemental and easily accessible. So how effective is cyberspace in reducing the rates of chlamydia in young people?
A recent study by Melissa Kang and colleagues from the University of Sydney GP Medical School, used the internet to engage sexually active young Australians aged 16-25 years in confidential, email interactions with a sexual health nurse or doctor. The goal was to educate and facilitate access to chlamydia testing services for young people. Subjects were invited to visit a specifically designed website to discuss chlamydia and the importance of testing.6
Young people were more likely to report having a chlamydia test after 6 months of email interaction with a clinician than those who were not offered such contact. The authors concluded that the internet and eTechnology may be useful in promoting chlamydia testing and healthcare seeking behaviour in young people.6
It goes without saying that cyberspace is a good place to start when designing public health messages about STIs for young people. There remain gaping research holes, sure to be filled over the next few years with studies on the extent and efficacy of internet-based education programs for young people. At this stage, and with little evidence to back up social media and internet-based programs, the most effective way to change behaviour are the still traditional methods of school-based programs, community health centres
In July 2013, The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society issued a report outlining the most effective (and ineffective) methods of delivering STI education programs.7
- Comprehensive one-on-one counselling with sexually active young people has shown to be effective in changing behaviour and reducing risky sexual practices;
- Generally, interactive internet-based programs are comparable to face-to-face counselling for increasing sexual health knowledge and improving attitudes towards practising safe sex
- Targeted outreach screening in community health settings and non-GP health services show high acceptance and participation in STI screening;
- Sexual health education via the internet and social media may improve young people’s sexual health knowledge and attitudes;
- Programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth that follow good cultural practices such as community consultation and ownership, collaborative development and engagement using multidisciplinary and interagency approaches are effective;
- Peer-led programs and youth development with at-risk young people and minority youth are effective in increasing knowledge and improving attitudes and motivations.
And what isn’t…
Programs focusing on abstinence were ineffective in reducing risk or delaying sexual behaviour. There is also indicative evidence that abstinence based programs may increase STI risk.7
There has been minimal success in increasing STI screening rates in general practice contexts, in particular for chlamydia. However, young people will respond positively to an offer from a clinician or GP for an STI test and many would prefer this to having to initiate the request.7
Take-home message for health practitioners:
- Offer confidential STI screening to young people.
- Make sure a list of sexual health clinics and youth health centres is available for young people from the age of 12 years.
- Avoid talk of abstinence. Young people are sexually active and need support not judgement.
- Keep up to speed on culturally appropriate, locally relevant, interactive sexual health education sites, apps and community programs.
In the meantime, there are plenty of informative, locally relevant websites, campaigns and Twitter feeds:
Red Aware YEAH is a youth driven health promotion organisation aimed at empowering youth to become involved in improving sexual health awareness in their local communities.
Get The Facts is a youth focused website about sexual health (Department of Health, WA).
Could I Have It? is a comprehensive site all about Chlamydia with information for young people and travellers. It even features online Chlamydia self-assessment and testing (WA based).
Better to Know is a website for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with information on STIs, how and where to test for STIs and how to tell a partner that you have an STI.
1. Brewster, K. Chlamydia epidemic may cause a rise in infertility among young Australians - experts warn. ABC News 24 October, 2013
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics ABS June 2012
3. Hagan, K. Chlamydia rates rise for younger girls. The Age, 24 October 2013
4. Somerville, C. Burnet Institute News, 24 October 2013
5. Better Health Channel: Chlamydia
6. Kang M, Rochford, A, Skinner R. et al. Facilitating chlamydia testing among young people: a randomised controlled trial in cyberspace. Sex Trans Infect. 2012;88:568-573.
7. Brown G, Croy S, Johnston K, Pitts, M., & Lewis, V. (2013). Rapid Review: Reducing sexually transmissible infections in young people. Melbourne: Australian Institute for Primary Care & Ageing (AIPCA) and Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society (ARCSHS), La Trobe University.
Partners in Recovery: A Model for Collaboration Coordination Integration
Around one in three Australians will experience mental illness at some stage in their life. Mental illness is the largest single cause of disability. Around 600,000 Australians experience severe mental illness and some 60,000 have enduring and disabling symptoms with complex, multi‐agency support needs.1
Addressing severe and persistent mental illness requires a complex system of treatment, care and support, requiring the engagement of multiple areas of government, including health, housing, income support, disability, education and employment.1
What is Partners In Recovery?
Partners in Recovery (PIR) aims to support people with severe and persistent mental illness with complex needs - and their carers and families - by coordinating services across multiple sectors. The aim of PIR is to streamline systems to work in a more collaborative, coordinated, and integrated way.
PIR aims to support the multi‐service integration needed to ensure services and supports are matched to people’s need. In doing so, PIR hope to facilitate better coordination and access to the clinical and other services and supports needed by people who are suffering from severe and persistent mental illness.1
The ultimate objective of the PIR initiative is to improve the system response to, and outcomes for, people with severe and persistent mental illness who have complex needs by:
- Facilitating better coordination of clinical and other supports and services to deliver ‘wrap around’ care individually tailored to the person’s needs;
- Strengthening partnerships and building better links between various clinical and community support organisations responsible for delivering services to the PIR target group;
- Improving referral pathways that facilitate access to the range of services and supports needed by the PIR target group; and
- Promoting a community based recovery model to underpin all clinical and community support services delivered to people experiencing severe and persistent mental illness with complex needs.1,2
How social media can help promote PIR?
In the techno age, social media tools offer a powerful way for health professionals act as a public voice for health. Although the type of online conversations and shared content can vary widely, health professionals and health organisations are increasingly using social media as a way to share journal articles, post updates from conferences and meetings, and circulate information about professional opportunities, health initiatives, funded programs and upcoming events.
The Partners in Recovery program is fundamentally a network of community services and health organisations that have been brought together to advocate on behalf of people with persistent and severe mental illness. For this reason PIR is perfectly placed to utilise social media for networking and information sharing opportunities with community, health and mental health advocacy groups. Initial social media connections would include members of the PIR Network Organisations and area-based health consortia.
Partners In Recovery Roll-out
The Partners In Recovery Information Paper1 describes the PIR Operational model:
- Suitably placed and experienced non-government organisations will be engaged in Medicare Local geographic regions to implement PIR in a way that complements existing support and service systems and any existing care coordination efforts already being undertaken.
- PIR organisations will undertake a number of tasks, including engaging and joining up the range of sectors, services and supports within a region from which individuals may need assistance. They will work to build partnerships, establish (or improve) collaborative ways of working together, and establish the framework to oversee implementation of the initiative at a local level.1
If connecting a range of sectors, support services, advocacy and crisis-care groups is the principal aim of PIR, then strategic and responsible social media messaging is one of the most effective tools to achieve this aim. If used effectively, Twitter engagement for the Partners In Recovery program promises sustainable and long-lasting local, regional and community connections that have the potential to achieve and enhance PIR aims.
Disseminating PIR Information
When the Medicare Local Partners In Recovery Organistaion (PIRO) begin rolling out the PIR program they will host a series of forums around the local region (as a part of the PIR Communication Strategy) presenting information to consumers, carers, service provider staff, and others on:
- What PIR is;
- The importance of partnerships to the success of PIR and how the partnerships would be established, used and governed;
- The critical role of consumers and carers in the implementation of PIR within the region;
- The critical role of service providers within the partnerships and the benefits to be gained by active and sustained participation;
- The target population profile within the region; and
- The referral pathways into the initiative.3
Who are the state/territory based PIR Consortium members?
There are a number of sectors central to the success of this initiative including primary care (health and mental health), state/ territory specialist mental health systems, the mental health and broader NGO sector, alcohol and other drug services, and income support services, as well as education, employment and housing supports.
Organisations listed under Medicare Local Regions funded under stage 1 of the Partners In Recovery program, with existing Twitter accounts who are actively engaging with their local and regional communities include:3
ACT Medicare Local (783 Twitter followers)
Central Adelaide and Hills Medicare Local (389)
Central Queensland Medicare Local (209)
Country North SA Medicare Local (579)
Eastern Melbourne Medicare Local (1,237)
Hume Medicare Local (312)
Hunter Medicare Local (1,007)
Illawarra Shoalhaven Medicare Local (399)
Inner West Medicare Local (430)
Metro North Brisbane Medicare Local (731)
Murrumbidgee Medicare Local (361)
Northern Medicare Local (497)
South Eastern Melbourne Medicare Local (567)
Southern Adelaide – Fleurieu – Kangaroo Island Medicare Local (243)
Western NSW Medicare Local (375)
West Moreton-Oxley Medicare Local (650)
Wide Bay Medicare Local (685)
Medicare Local Twitter engagement potential: 9,454
Community Organisations and Stakeholders
Alzheimers Australia (3,747 Twitter followers)
Benevolent Society (2,721)
Care Connect (1,171)
CQ University (459)
Curtin University (10,782)
Mental Health Association (4,170)
Mind Australia (863)
Mission Australia (10,898)
Red Cross (11,894)
Schizophrenia Research Institute (1,201)
Schizophrenia Foundation of NSW (881)
Queensland Alliance of Mental Health (2,030)
Royal Flying Doctors Service (3,417)
Rural Mental Health (5,003)
St Vincent De Paul (2,583)
Salvation Army (9,045)
Uniting Care (2,946)
University of Western Sydney (4380)
YWCA QLD (846)
Stakeholder Twitter engagement potential: 88,619
Strategic Networking using Twitter
While the PIR roll‐out model may vary across regions depending on need and context, the common feature of all models will be the engagement of suitably placed and experienced non‐government organisations (PIR organisations) to deliver PIR across Medicare Local geographic regions: these will be the mechanism that helps ‘glue’ together all the supports and services the individual requires. PIR organisations will work at a systems level to drive collaboration, bringing together senior representatives from agencies with key responsibilities for the PIR target group. They will direct the strategies needed to achieve better coordinated services to improve overall outcomes for individuals referred to and accepted into the program.3
The Partners in Recovery model promotes collective ownership and encourages innovative solutions to ensure effective and timely access to the services and supports required by people with severe and persistent mental illness to sustain optimal health and wellbeing.1
Social media, in particular Twitter, has the potential to tap into existing networks at the local level while delivering innovative mental health solutions for people with severe and persistent mental illness. Daily, there are thousands of tweets from mental health organisations, drug and alcohol services, public housing, mental health advocacy groups, community and carers groups and health care stakeholders who are consistently sharing relevant, evidence-based mental health information. Many of these tweets are drilling down to the coalface, disseminating community service, and crisis-care information that can, in turn, be picked up by local networks and shared with mental health consumers on the ground.
Having explored the existing Twitter engagement potential of PIR organisations with over 98,000 active social media users, the question e-GPS would like to ask is: Why wouldn’t PIR consider engaging Twitter to maximize the accessibility and uptake of this invaluable program?
Wondering how best to utilise social media to assist with the roll-out of the Partners in Recovery program? e-GPS can help.
Contact us or find us on Twitter @eGPSolutions
1. Department of Health and Ageing: Partners in Recovery Information Paper 1, July 2012.
2. PIR Initiative website
3. Partners in Recovery Case Study Systems Perspective, July 2012.
4. Department of Health and Ageing Website – Partners in Recovery Stage 1
Image source: Blog: Nathan Coates Journalist
Specialist medical professionals need to set aside their concerns and embrace twitter and other social media platforms.
Research from The George Institute, University of Sydney, highlighted the potential of social media to connect consumers, health professionals and organisations.
The George Institute team presented their poster at the 60th Annual scientific meeting of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) 2012 and tweeted their findings.
e-GPS saw the original tweet, logged onto the CSANZ website, followed the conference, connected with the authors, and by posting this blog on Facebook and Twitter drove a wider conversation about their important research through social media.
The George team analysed nine Twitter accounts, including the British Heart Foundation, European Society of Cardiology, American Heart Association and the Australian National Heart Foundation, and concluded that:
“Twitter can be used to enhance education, awareness and overall management of cardiovascular disease.”
The potential reach of Twitter is dependent of the number of ‘Followers’ - other Twitter users who have agreed to recieve messages or ‘tweets’. Reach occurs via retweets, (followers ‘Retweet’ your tweet to their followers, and so-on). As an example, The British Heart Foundation reached 71,753 followers via 50 recent tweets.
Consumer and health professional education delivered via direct links to journals and consumer articles were by far the main content of recent tweets sent by these organisations. Only a few tweets had a social focus, debunking the myth many in the medical profession believe about the shallow content of social media. e-GPS were instrumental in disseminating the study findings via Twitter and Facebook and we enabled valuable connections and networks beyond the scope of the conference delegates.
Read the CSANZ Abstract 2012 here.
Thanks to Julie Redfern, Lis Neubeck and the research team at The George Institute, Sydney University for allowing us to share their work.
Follow them on Twitter: @georgeinstitute @jredheart @lisneubeck @jodieingles27 @stephjohnston @CSHeartResearch @thecsanz
For more information about e-GPS Conference Engagement follow @e-GPSolutions
Ever wondered how people with a disability access social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin? Unless you have a disability, the thought is unlikely to have crossed your mind. But if you have vision impairment, hearing or developmental difficulties, experience seizures, or mobility issues, you may have experienced varying degrees of frustration trying to access user-friendly social media sites.