So it happened again. Yesterday a patient mom friended me on Facebook and asked me for advice The answer was an easy no.
So what’s the big deal? Why not just offer some friendly advice? Truthfully, the nature of the question was one that could easily have been answered.
Here’s the thing. Patient interaction in the public domain is a no no for doctors. But what about a personal message? Still, public domain. And there’s no way to insure that you have all the information you need on the problem. The proper dialogue would be too cumbersome. How would I document what I’ve suggested? I could go on all day but that’s not me.
Bottom line: This kind of interaction is loose. It’s cool, it’s convenient, but it’s loose.
While we’re not ready to formally interact with patients in the social media space, we are getting close. Jay Parkinson’s Hellohealth broke the ice last month with a platform that allows patients and docs to be closer through video, text, email on a platform that looks and feels like Facebook. Clever but not ready for mass consumption.
Until then, I’ll continue to meet, talk and touch, the old-fashioned way.