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I would now like to discuss using Social Networking as a means of improving heath-care. If you were to ask me: “Is it feasible to use social networking technology to improve the healthcare business?” The answer would be a definite yes. In a world of i-phones and Androids, it is becoming increasingly easier to connect to the world we live in. Already, over 500 hospitals around the United States are taking advantage of this great trend and have taken the first step forward to integrate a social networking system with their institution in order to turn weaknesses into strengths and enhance the patients' experience.
Today, we would like to divide up the areas which we feel Social Networking Technology has the potential to greatly enhance, into three categories: Patient to physician, patient to patient, and patient to self relationships.
Healthcare has become increasingly impersonal and centralized, instead of networked with close connections to patients. Patients feel less of a relationship with their busy physicians and feel that they are not listened to enough. This is a tremendous weakness in the healthcare business, but at the same time one that could perhaps be easily solved. For example, oftentimes, patients want to speak to a doctor over the phone but it is hard to catch him or her, or sometimes one just cannot come in but would like to show the doctor something over the phone. With social networking technology, one could be able to set up appointments on a secure network with video chat capabilities to capitalize on the sporadic times that doctors are available throughout a busy day. This would simultaneously resolve weaknesses - the busy-ness of doctors, and impersonal experiences - while at the same time making these actual strengths.
- Another internal weakness of the healthcare business is that customers do not have the guts to tell their doctors how they felt about their visit. The healthcare business could use surveys like the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School has in order to give patients the ability to anonymously speak their mind. This 1. Motivates doctors to do a superb job because they want good ratings 2. Keeps the particular
- healthcare institution not just mediocre, but excellent – like
- the types of strategic managers the professor is teaching us to be. In these ways, patient to doctor relationships could be strengthened tremendously. DONT SWITCH SLIDE YET
Another issue that social networking could solve is as follows. Oftentimes, people get sick with serious ailments and feel alone and in the dark....How do I deal with XY&Z with work? What about with my friends? My family?....Cancer patients need moral support when making
very difficult decisions that we should never have to make...to get surgery or to stay on medication? What do you do when told you have 6 months to live? - An internal system of social networking among patients with input from doctors and nurses could greatly help a patients experience at a time that support is most needed. There could be “secret groups” formed on FaceBook to connect patients
with others with similar illnesses. These are just some examples how social networking technology could resolve
this weakness of loneliness and turn it into a strength of shared knowledge.
- Social networking technology could also prove to improve the healthcare business by providing platforms which patients could use to access information. There are already software programs such as AYA4 (all information you have ever asked for) which helps patients with financing options and other issues which medical patience have to deal with. Healthcare businesses could also educate the public and
- their patients about various diseases, ailments, recent research, and health tips using a YouTube Channel. As a matter of fact, many places are already doing so.
- This could eventually extend to apps for smart phones. As a matter if fact, there are already apps available in the app store and play store that allow you to do an enormous amount of things including – typing in ailments to get a guess as to what you may have; and using that information – local doctors with their office location and numbers to get an appointment. You could also look up any illness and it will tell you the medicine you should get along with important
- information such as what to do if have allergic reaction, forget a dose, and many other vital things to know. It will also use your GPS to tell you where the nearest place is where you could get the drug you need.