Infographic Friday: Social Health Care Is Set to Soar

Infographic Friday: Social Health Care Is Set to Soar

150 150 Rob Lovitt

With 2012 now in the history books and 2013 just a few days old, it’s only natural to look to the future and contemplate what’s to come. Much, of course, is unknown but one thing is already clear: When it comes to health care, social media is poised to inform every aspect of how patients conduct their preliminary research, who they trust and how they decide to choose one provider over another.

Consider some of the numbers compiled by Demi & Cooper Advertising and DC Interactive and laid out in the following infographic:

  •  33% of consumers now use social media sites and online forums to research health-related matters
  • 41% said social media would affect their choice of a doctor, hospital or medical facility
  • 77% said they would share their experiences regarding a specific health care provider

social media health care

Even more compelling, perhaps, is the fact that when respondents were asked whose health-related content they trusted, 46% of social media users said they trusted content posted by other patients they know — versus 60% for content from doctors. In those consumers’ minds, at least, the so-called “authority gap” is shrinking.

Don’t get us wrong. We remain unconditionally committed to the importance of professional expertise and especially the value of board certification. (Patients also place high value on board certification.) Nevertheless, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that your potential patients are increasingly turning to social media for advice, information and the kind of support that allows them to make aesthetic decisions with confidence.

If they don’t find your practice there, there’s a good chance they won’t find it at all.

Doctor Takeaway

The future is closer than you think

The numbers above will only take on more significance going forward. Simply put, when 80% of the next major demographic group to enter the marketplace say they share health information via social media and almost 90% say they trust the information they find there, doctors face a stark reality: Participate now and make the connections that promote future business or ignore the inevitable and become invisible.

Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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