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How Does Social Media Affect the Healthcare Industry?

It is 2017 and social media is a normal part of communication between individuals, businesses, organizations and communities.  Social media now plays a larger role in the healthcare industry then it ever has.  Social media is being used to engage with the public and connect with patients.  It is also being utilized to educate patients, students and colleagues on best practices and innovations and create new networks to improve healthcare outcomes.
How many of us have problem-solved our health needs or the health needs of a loved one, by looking online for an answer?  Maybe you utilized the internet or an app to find information on a medication or find alternative medicine.  It is important for us to understand the impacts of social media on how individuals access their healthcare needs, so that we can tailor our practices accordingly.
According to recent statistics over 40 percent of people report to get their healthcare information from social media.  This greatly influences the healthcare industry and challenges us to be a part of social media to provide accurate health information to the public.  More statistics show that 41 percent of people report that social media influences their choice in doctor, hospital or health facility.  This is significant for any healthcare organization trying to grow their business, obtain, and retain patients.  Furthermore, the statistics polled doctors and 60 percent of them agreed that social media improves the quality of care given to patients.  Social media opens up transparency among its users and an avenue for patients to be honest about their healthcare needs.
All of these facts fuel the need for healthcare providers to get on board with our ever-changing system, to meet the needs of our patients in new and unique ways.
Statistics were gathered from the following resources: http://thesparkreport.com/infographic-social-mobile-healthcare/ and https://getreferralmd.com/2013/09/healthcare-social-media-statistics/.

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