If you’re reading this blog, you already know that online patient communities are playing an ever-larger role in health care. But did you know that more and more of your peers are recommending their patients participate in them and are themselves contributing or considering contributing to them?
Those are among the takeaways from a survey of more than 4,000 doctors by QuantiaMD, which notes that 66% of the doctors who are familiar with online patient communities considered their impact on patients to be positive or very positive.
As for recommending that patients participate in online communities, nearly 80% of those doctors say they already do or are considering doing so, as shown by the following chart:
“Patients can share their stories, learn from others, spread knowledge and instill hope,” noted one respondent.
Going forward, such community distribution platforms will likely play an increasingly large role in physician-patient interactions as more people — doctors and patients alike — spend more of their time online:
When asked about the benefits of online interactions with patients, clinicians most often cited improved access to care, supported by more – and more convenient – communication. One physician summed up his vision of online interactions with patients as the opportunity for “better education, increased compliance, and better outcomes.”
Doctor-patient communication is increasingly a two-way street and contributing to sites that encourage it are an ideal venue to provide balanced views, counter misinformation and gain proactive insights about your patients’ questions and concerns.