Open Your Mind: 29 Uses of Twitter for Medical Practices

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© Tiero | Dreamstime.comI know many people are having trouble understanding how Twitter could be relevant to a medical practice. Here’s a list that might help.

1. Tweet patients when doctor is running late.

2.  Tweet doctor when patient is running late.

3. Tweet staff to remind them of staff meeting Monday morning.

4. Tweet patients to remind them of appointment.

5. Tweet when physician is giving a talk somewhere.

6. Tweet patients that medical report is available.

7. Tweet patients to call to make next appointment for vaccine or treatment series.

8. Tweet patient to complete patient questionnaire so payer will process claim.

9. Tweet patients to remind about NPO, golitely, drink water before test.

10. Tweet staff to remind of lunch event at work (forget the brown bag or remember your potluck offering.)

11. Tweet patient that medical records are ready to be picked up or have been sent.

12. Tweet patients that auto payment will be drafted tomorrow.

13. Tweet patients to take meds (especially meds that change: z-pack, coumadin.)

14. Tweet staff to turn payroll in, managers to look over payroll.

15. Tweet lab tech to go to exam room # for lab work.

16. Tweet x-ray tech to go to exam room # to escort patient to x-ray.

17.  Send notice to patients when new info is on website.

18. Tweet patient that earlier appointment is available when patient no-shows.

19. Order lunch for physicians.

20. Announce new services, physicians, locations.

21. Let patients know when flu shots are available.

22. Remind patients about drugs (interactions, refills, take meds.)

23.  Remind patients to take blood sugar, blood pressure.

24. Alert patient ride that patient is ready for pickup.

25. Alert referring physician that new test reports are available for them via the web.

26.. Tweet staff to give them inclement weather update.

27. Tweet patients to remind them of support-group meetings.

28. Tweet patient that last payment in payment plan is less or more due to EOB notice.

29. Tweet patients about drug recall.

What great ideas do you have for Twitter?

Posted in: Innovation, Social Media

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2 Comments

  1. Andrzej April 19, 2009

    Interesting theory, but given that medical information can be highly sensitive, and Twitter has no guarantee of privacy (by definition, Twitter is a 3rd party in between the physician and the patient), so much information cannot be legally transmitted using twitter.

    The authors intention is admirable, but the realities of privacy legislation with respect to healthcare info makes many applications non-starters.

    For example, you cannot even send a reminder of an appointment, since the physician might specialize in HIV or mental health, and since Twitter is not private/encrypted end to end, it might inadvertantly reveal that a patient is seeing a doctor for a “sensitive” condition.

    Not gonna fly.

    Pity”¦but such is life.

    • Mary Pat Whaley April 20, 2009

      Thanks for your comment, Andrzej.

      All new tools deserve brainstorming and discussion to fully explore their potential.

      As a patient, I would be willing to sign off on having my physician’s office contact me via Twitter to let me know that the doctor was running late. Would it work for all patients and all physician offices? Probably not. Could it work for some and make the physician office more efficient and the patient more satisfied? Most definitely!

      Mary Pat