The Role Social Media and IT Play in Healthcare - Research Paper Example

Published: 2021-08-15 19:44:13
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University of Richmond
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Research paper
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The use of social media is on the increase since its advent. It has changed the way communication is disseminated from where it has been produced down to its consumers. In the medical industry, the healthcare system has strict rules and regulations limiting the use of social media to a certain extent (Marouchos, 2015). However, social media has its benefits in carrying out communications and treatment of patients in healthcare organizations. For instance in telemedicine, it provides for a two-way live video communication between a patient and their physician or one physician with another as in a face to face encounter (James et al., 2001). Patients are also researching and making decisions concerning health care. This will enable them to have first-hand information about the hospital or physician before meeting them in person.


Public health surveillance

Marouchos' further arguments state that social media platforms aimed at the promotion of healthy lifestyles through communications on disease risks and their intervention and living a healthy lifestyle. On trends about disease occurrences, epidemiologists, researchers as wells as other health care practitioners will draw findings on disease awareness, treatment, and its prevention.

Influencing health policy

According to research, 31% of healthcare organizations use social media as a platform for marketing, Marouchos (2015). Non-governmental organizations are carrying out policy implementations aimed at preserving the confidentiality of the patient. Still, it will systematically affect how staff can communicate and respond to information posted on their social media networks and its final analysis. Hence through this, physicians have embraced transparency of social media as it is improving the healthcare quality they accord their patients and the public as statistics provide.


According to Gustafson (2011), he supports E-prescribing by saying that it has done away with difficulties associated with unreadable handwriting while writing prescriptions it eventually saves on paper and saves time for the pharmacists. In addition to that, he says that physicians can be able to know a medication which has been prescribed already by viewing the records.

More accurate data collection

Online data is more accurate than data written on paper. Transcription errors may occur as a result of manual entering of data into a system online. Through the use of IT in healthcare systems, built-in verification features will not allow data that is incomplete or inaccurate to be submitted (Byers 2017). Technology will, therefore, avoid these errors and healthcare providers will strive to maintain improved patient care experiences.

Improved access to health records

Byer further argues that improved access to health records he will provide easy and quick access to personal medical information, the patient files, which will immensely improve the patient care procedures. For instance, patients will be able to update and submit their information to their computers, or mobile phones (2017).Through an online access to patient's medical history information, a healthcare provider will do a quick review to draw a diagnosis that will show the patient's health status.

The role of technology and social media in health care

The use of technology mainly in the field of healthcare provision involves three groups. It involves the health care providers, the patients and the people who train the caregivers. In the recent past, it has always been about the sophisticated machines and equipment that have been innovated to help in the evaluation, treatment, and evaluation of diseases. However, now, the use of the social platform in the medical field has become a common thing now (Short 2017).

Kumar (2017) argues that technology as a broad theme has played a very important role in the promotion of health. Many wonder machines have been created by men and advanced over the years in a bid to reduce the time used in disease detection, improvement of the qualities of vaccines and drugs, treatment and the process of monitoring the improvement of the patients.

Kumar (2017) suggested that the health care consumers and the value-based care providers are largely facilitating the growth of the new technology development in health. This transforms how health care that is given to the hospitals, nursing homes. The dream of enabling the providers to furnish more care outside traditional health care settings is what has driven the care providers to integrate the use of social media in the healthcare provision. This has come with both merits and demerits as discussed below;

Where an affordable platform can be available, the telementoring potentiality can assist conventional on-site mentoring as a teaching aid. Franckhauser (2013) said that technology had been fused into almost every form of professionalism in the modern world .in the field of medicine; this has been achieved through Tele-mentoring, which is a virtual program that allows a medical tutor to keep in touch with the people they are accountable for. This has enabled many medical tutors to be able to reach out to those that work under them in giving out instructions and procedures in surgeries and even in the disease analysis (Kumar 2017). The tutors can make online presentations that may include both Mp3 and Mp4 formats that are then made available to the medical students at an arm's reach.

According to Short (2017), the surgical mentoring for example is a vital component in the spectrum of learning a new a new operative procedure. However in-person mentoring requires the mentor to travel to the mentees (the person receiving the instructions) operative theater to assist the mentee in performing his/her initial surgical cases. This may be very intensive for the mentor and costly too involving the time that the mentor would take off practice. The use of tele-mentoring serves as a cheaper alternative as it would allow the mentor to perform the mentoring remotely without the need for the expenses of travel and time from off work(Kumar 2017).

Franckhauser (2013) added that the use of mentoring programs has been of great help in the medical field as opposed to the times when we only had an individual who had the knowledge and complete expertise over a medical procedure. Tele-mentoring has created a situation where knowledge can now be freely shared amongst many people thereby eradicating the traditional knowledge monopoly. This has reduced the patient-doctor ratio thereby increasing the chances of many people getting quality and convenient medical attention anytime.

Onsite mentoring can also be considered efficient in that it can repeatedly be done as many times as both the mentor and the mentee can accommodate. When it's recorded, it can be repeated up to such a time that the mentee will feel comfortable in performing the new surgical procedure alone (Carlyle (2017)).

The use of technology has also enabled the medical practitioners to learn new and innovative surgical procedures by attending digitally conferences that are organized by organizations like the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). In such training, there are didactics, hands-on laboratory and simulation-training sessions that hare meant to expose the surgeons to new innovative procedures (Short 2017).

Carlyle (2017) continues to argue that the use of social media to reach out to the consumers of health care is efficient regarding time. This is because it is possible to reach out to many people with social media platforms in a very short time. The service providers can do this by making PDF documents and slides that contains clear and precise information that can be comprehended even by people who do not have any medical information in the background. This can be vital for example on how to identify through simple means ailments that come at unexpected times and places and the possible ways through which the can be controlled before they get into a health facility. In the case where a doctor may not be in a position of reaching the client in time, they can use social platforms to reach them

This has been very instrumentals in saving lives in places that are remote and inaccessible like mountainous areas, saving soldiers in the fields, people who fall sick while in flights, and even those that travel in the waters. In some cases that are not very serious, the Doctors have been able to even provide prescriptions to the patients without having to visit them physically.

According to Carlyle (2017), it is documented that the cases of domestic deaths that mostly arise from people who have congenital and heart diseases that comes unexpectedly in waves thus causing untimely deaths have greatly reduced. This is because interactive platforms have been created that people can visit to give them information anytime on how to handle these cases to keep the patients out of danger even before they can get professional health attention. These sites are accessible to all the public anytime anywhere that has the internet connection.

Problems that arise from the use of social media in handling health issues

One of the dangers that are associated with the online learning is that it may be difficult to fully follow the online demonstrations that the medics are subjected to. Trying to follow the initial learning experiences, performing the new procedures on their own without the assistance of an expert may time result into a fatal medical accident that may lead to a needless higher risk of the patient impediment.

Short (2017) argued that t Short, H. (2017) the other danger that may result from the use of Tele-mentoring is a case where there is the disturbance in the line of communication due to power interruption. And even device failure on either side of the communication channel.bearing in mind that all the surgical procedures have timelines that are rather specific. These mishaps can be severe the communication where the senior surgeon may be the one instructing another medical practitioner who was relying on the instructions from the senior surgeon for the success of the exercise. This can delay the session and may as well prove fatal.

It is also possible that a person will fail to get to understand what the other person is communicating fully. This may prove risky because people normally act on what they hear, see and understand. Its, therefore, an individual may act on a wrong instruction that may have dire consequences on the person receiving the actions of the instructions, in this case, the patient (Franchiser 2013).

Franchiser (2013) emphasizes that some private bloggers also have the tendency of uploading materials with bogus content that have no academic support. Many people would, therefore, fall to the snares of these people and thus may have adverse effects on the people who would have decided to follow their misleading information. It can also be very difficult for a person who is seeking help from a person using the social media to confirm the validity of information that they are given. Some may also manipulate the public with the aim of advising money from them in the pretense of consultation fees or by asking them to send cash to allow the doctors send them drugs.

Possible solutions and recommendation to the arising problems

One of the possible ways that can be used to reduce the disadvantages that come with the use of social media to propagate health would be the regulation of state medical licensing boards. Where the countries could allow people from different states to engage in telementoring because at the moment it can only be done within the state only. This may be inappropriate in a case where the only available mentor who...

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