Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Policy by the AMA aims to Help Guide Physicians in Maintaining a Positive Patient-Physician Relationship Online

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90% of Americans are searching online for health information, but until recently, what they found tended to be jumbled and lacked credibility. Times are changing though. Mashable reports that as the health care revolution changes, many doctors, nurses and medical professionals are taking their insights online and offering patients credible resources to improve their health knowledge online.

Both the AMA and the CDC has recognized this, and released Best Practice documents for those professionals. A few of the Best Practices that caught our attention were:
  • Using privacy settings to safeguard personal information and content to the fullest extent possible on social networking sites.
  • Routinely monitoring their own Internet presence to ensure that the personal and professional information on their own sites and content posted about them by others, is accurate and appropriate.
  • Maintaining appropriate boundaries of the patient-physician relationship when interacting with patients online and ensure patient privacy and confidentiality is maintained.
  • Considering separating personal and professional content online.
As social media and med-focused online outlets increase, so do the number of potential challenges that arise when consumers approach the web to take their health into their own hands increase as well. For physicians, posting anything searchable online can be a huge risk but does have its benefits- exposure as a thought leader for one. As for advertising, press of practice is press nonetheless so one has to wonder about guidelines to help hinder HCP’s that create a potential danger not just for their own patients, but for the hundreds that comb the web looking for any information at all that might help them with their own diagnosis.

How much do you think these policies will help to mold the updated guidelines from the FDA in order to protect patients from those that misuse these technologies?

At the ePharma Summit, we will be addressing how marketers can better connect with today’s tech-saavy physician in our The Doctor’s Live Panel which will feature Sanjay Pingle of Physician’s Interactive as well as the perspective of Dr. Jason Bhan, Family Physician and Co-Founder of Ozmosis, Inc.
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