I was flipping through some of Lee Aase’s slides recently and he made a point that I can’t seem to get out of my head. Social media, says Lee, will not make up for a bad product offering.
Lee was referring of course to hospital service. But the same wisdom can be applied to what doctors offer.
So how’s our offering? Do doctors give patients the time and attention necessary to address their unique concerns and educational needs? Not always. This isn’t necessarily the fault of the physician but it looks that way in the exam room where the problems of our healthcare system are most obvious.
When I listen to patients they want doctors who are accessible, responsive and interested. Then there’s the suggestion that the availability of physicians through social platforms is the fix. It’s said that we should be connected with out patients. The Conversation, after all, makes everything better.
But technology will not fix a strained relationship. Facebook is just a medium. It’s people and their passionate interests that make things happen. Social engagement, online or off, requires a dedicated interest in
sharing and listening.
The medical profession is under the gun. As doctors we’re preoccupied with third party payers, malpractice premiums, and keeping the lights on. It’s not why we got into it but it’s where we’re at.
It’s a tough time for doctors to engage. Twitter won’t fix that.