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Francine Hardaway: Social Media For Providers

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This morning we saw all the sites that can help patients communicate with each other. But this afternoon, we are seeing tools to help doctors connect.

Here’s something that could be helpful to all of us. On a new site, Careseek nurses, doctors and patients can rate doctors. Nurses can sign up and rate the doctors they work with on a separate site that protects their anonymity.

That’s just one of the social media tools for providers I have just seen. Another one is HealthcareFacts, from Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which allows people to find information about providers in a specific community. It’s patterned after commonly used nutrition labels, which is clever, but probably not necessary.

And we also saw a demo of a site on which doctors can get help from other doctors on difficult cases. According to the physician who presented it, the site replaces the doctor’s lounge in the hospital, where docs used to sit around, smoking, and talking about their complicated cases to get each other’s knowledge.

Update: Just heard somebody say that the doctors do hate the rating services, but can’t do anything about them because they are protected by free speech, especially if the doctor can add to his/her own profile.