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Engaging Patients through Social Media Kenan Omurtag, MD Assistant Professor, Reproductive Endocrinology and infertility Washington University St Louis.

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Presentation on theme: "Engaging Patients through Social Media Kenan Omurtag, MD Assistant Professor, Reproductive Endocrinology and infertility Washington University St Louis."— Presentation transcript:

1 Engaging Patients through Social Media Kenan Omurtag, MD Assistant Professor, Reproductive Endocrinology and infertility Washington University St Louis School of MEdicine

2 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine Disclosures Paid consultant for regularraterhythm software and we have licensing agreement for app development with Ferring Pharmacueticals

3 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine Objectives Describe what is social media How it is relevant to providers and patients in women’s health Describe the use of social media among Fertility clinics in the United States Provide a tutorial on implementing social media in your practice

4 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine What is Social Media “interaction among people in which they create share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities or networks Examples: Facebook Twitter YouTube

5 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine Why should I care about it Nearly half of adults polled report they or someone they know gets medical advice online >75% would favor secure online communication with their physician’s office Younger patients (teens to young 30s) prefer physicians who are online Men no longer dominate the Internet – WOMEN DO Rise of social media is thought to be responsible Our target population lives online

6 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine Women Dominate the Internet & Social media WOMEN > 18 yr spend the most time online are more likely to use social media WOMEN seek medical advice online more than men More among WOMEN yr Target audience for many providers of womens health Particularly in the fertility community in the US The majority of IVF cycles are performed on women in this age group. Omurtag F&S 2012

7 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine Why should I care Internet research is highly influential in selecting a fertility practice Social media is an extension of “word of mouth” Web 2.0 A more dynamic internet 10 years ago 65% of fertility clinics in the US had a webpage; now 99% of them do Websites are no longer static Social Media is driving this change Helping to drive traffic to the website Omurtag F&S 2012 Marcus F&S 2005 Weissman F&S 2000

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9 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine A technology update In 2005 Update on the state of websites in fertility practices in the US Effectively 10 years after the web had matured (Web 1.0) In 2014 Update on how fertility practices are using the web ~10 years after social media applications were introduced (Web 2.0) Specifically… How are fertility clinics in the US are engaging patients online?

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11 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine Describing the ART of Social Networking - Methods Examined 384 society of Assisted reproductive Technology (SART) websites Using SART.org website and Google Qualified their use of social media defined as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or blog Further qualified the content of their social media pages Cycle data was collected for each clinic Association between social networking website and cycle volume were analyzed

12 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine Results – General

13 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine Results - General 1/3 of clinics in the US used social media Clinics that were actively using social media had tended to be higher volume clinics *unlikely thought that that social media was responsible for the high volume

14 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine Results – How we are using Social Media 103 clinics that used social media 1,382 individual posts were catalogued Categorized as Academic vs Non academic Advertising Providing information Requesting Information Providing support Irrelevant (i.e spam, posts unrelated to fertility)

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16 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine Results – How we are using Social Media Most of the activity comes from non academic centers (~90%) “one way” communication Clinics are using these venues to provide information (~31%) and advertise (~28%) Not much dialogue over social media As a clinic’s audience increases so does the frequency of posting Emphasizes the importance of content on the website Higher volume centers are more active

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18 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine Summary Reproductive Age Women are using social media to seek health information online Fertility Clinics are using it to broadcast information to their audiences Adjunct to their web presence Do I need to incorporate social media into my practice?

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20 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine Do I need Social media in my practice Yes Social media is an online branding exercise Adjunct to your website to create a more vibrant online presence May help grow a young practice Differentiate from others Promotional incentives unlikely to be helpful

21 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine Which applications should I use WEB-Log (blog) words on various topics Invite comments in effort to engage readers May be able to replace paper content Content that can be promoted on social media Twitter, Twitter, Twitter (microblog) Easy to use Use to make announcements re: practice closings New hires New services (PGD) Local accolades Drive traffic to content on website

22 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine Do I need to hire someone? Social media requires some effort and time commitment 6 hours/week devoting time to blogs for example Many of the SART members clinics that hosted active social media accounts are managed by a healthcare service company 0.5 FTE commonly dedicated to social media Content should be updated and posts should be daily

23 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine What Precautions are needed Policy Written document governing the administration of the practice’s online presence Privacy HIPAA compliant Most large institutions, Federation of State Medical Boards have frameworks for guidance

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25 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine What Precautions are needed Professionalism A survey of state medical Boards in the United States 70% had taken disciplinary action involving unprofessional physician behavior online Inappropriate communication with patient Inappropriate practice Misrepresentation of medical credentials

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27 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine What Precautions are needed Conflict of Interest Standard disclosure language For example: personal blog post should probably list “Personal views do not represent those of the institution” when relevant Other industry relationships FDA and FTC are examining COI issues related to social media

28 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine Summary Social media is necessary for updating web presence/branding Determine how the practice should utilize it and which tools are relevant Dedicate time/personnel Written policy recommended Professionalism goes without saying

29 Obstetrics & Gynecology Maternal-Fetal Medicine Final Comments Not a Fad Challenges still exist: Can this technology improve patient care? Perhaps via better communication/transparency/education Still experimenting with best use Discerning what is credible


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