KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Report: More Patients Turning To Social Media For Medical Advice

According to a new report, a third of consumers use social media to seek medical information, leading some to say that providers and insurers should utilize the media more to better interact with patients about their conditions.

Los Angeles Times: Consumers Using Social Media For Medical Information, Report Says
One-third of consumers are using Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to seek medical information, discuss symptoms and express their opinions about doctors, drugs and health insurers, according to a new report. These latest results from PwC’s Health Research Institute underscore the need for health care providers and insurance companies to engage more with consumers online since they are increasingly making medical decisions based on the information they find there (Terhune, 4/17).

CQ HealthBeat: Report: Social Media Increasingly Influential In Health Care
A patient at the Headache Center at a Philadelphia hospital complained on Twitter about his long wait to be seen. The director of social media at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals saw the tweet and texted the hospital marketing staff to check out the waiting room. Within minutes they were able to determine the patient hadn't been helped because he hadn't signed in to a computer kiosk. This anecdote, related in a new report on social media and health by consultant PwC, shows just one way in which people's online sharing of health information is increasingly having an impact on medical care (Norman, 4/17).

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