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A recent study from the Pew Research Center indicated that over 67% of Americans look to social media sites for breaking news stories. With the ever-changing US healthcare system a constant focus of the 24-hour news cycle, we asked our Crowd about their primary resources for the latest healthcare information. InCrowd’s MicroSurvey tool reached out to 150 US-based physicians from a variety of specialties, averaging 15 years in practice and 44 years of age, to gather their input on where they are getting their healthcare news.
Approximately 62% of practitioners’ prefer online news sources, including Internet articles and video clips, news apps, and/or social media. Only 8% referenced a desire for traditional news sources such as hardcopy newspapers or television.
Consistent with the Pew study, social media news stood out in particular when physicians reported the frequency of their engagement. 51% of physicians refer to social media sites 3 or more times a week, where only 13% maintain similar engagement with news apps and other online resources. Interestingly, almost 30% of respondents reported checking their social media 7 or more times a week to stay up to date on healthcare topics.
Social media has become an extremely effective medium to reach physicians and the internal health care industry is taking notice. Organizations such as the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Medical Association utilize a “broadcast” setting on Twitter and hosting Facebook live events. Longstanding organizations are actively pursuing these non-traditional methods to inform healthcare audiences antiquated hard copy news sources.
While many physicians seem fairly interested in utilizing social media to gain news updates, others are hesitant to use public social media platforms regularly due to concerns over privacy and uncontrolled patient interaction. Look for more in our upcoming blogs regarding the opportunities and risks of social media for the healthcare professional community.
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