Healthcare in the time of social networks
In Great Britain, more and more patients are facing problems in communication with their own GP, according to a recent National Audit Office survey. In 2011-12, 19% of people said they had difficulties in contacting their specialist, while the figure increased to 27% in 2014-15.
On the other hand, in Italy, white coats are the ones asking for some improvements in the relationship with their patients. As reported in a report by Consulcesi, 91% of doctors said a greater attention in communication with patients is necessary to increase quality and quantity of their job and 72% of them consider next generation communication tools such as social networks, websites and mobile apps important, if not essential. It is meaningful that 48% of physicians use a website to enhance their activities, 16% of them frequently use social networks and 14% apps. These data are going to grow significantly, considering that just one doctor out of five (22%) still relies on traditional advertising methods.
According to the same point of view, Vice-president of the National Council of the Medical Association, Jacques Lucas, declared: “Our National Health System must adapt to these medical innovations quickly. As the introduction of telephone brought closer doctors and patients, technologic tools can further facilitate this often difficult relationship.”