I really like Twitter. Its scrolling 140-character tableau of news nuggets fit perfectly on my hand held device, lap top and home personal computer. It’s easy to glance at between tasks and the advertising is blessedly minimal. I control the content by following and unfollowing other Twitter accounts with a simple click or a touch.

But why, physician-skeptics may ask, is Twitter any better than traditional web browsing, email, list-servs and handheld apps? I thought about that and am pleased to offer my Top Twelve reasons why every doc should include Twitter in their informatics medical bag.

1. Lit Headlines: The major medical journals use Twitter to efficiently describe their latest content with links.

2. Fame: Traditional print authors are publishing more and more about less and less. Getting peers to follow your original and insightful tweets is the new route to attaining status as an expert. I have more than 500 daily followers vs. how many actually read the average peer-reviewed article?

3. News Junkies: Some of your like-minded peers are freely aggregating and retweeting relevant headlines with links for your perusing efficiency. They can be indefatigable.

4. Kool-Aid Immunity: Did you know your Chief, Chair, VP, lead administrator or Dean wants to control all your communication? Twitter is an easy way to step out of the information bubble and monitor contrary news about that EHR, medical device, performance standards, your institution’s business partners, the competition and more.

5. Efficiency: Twitter trains you to be both brainy and brief. If you can’t fit it into 140 characters or less, you’re wasting your readers’ time.

6. Messaging: The “@” allows you to interact with established and potential colleagues outside of your institution’s email system. Thanks to this function, I have met some wonderful colleagues.

7. Medical Conference Tweets: View formal and informal updates and insights about that conference you’re attending from not only the meeting organizers but other attendees.

8. Community: Like-minded colleagues are not only clustering in listservs but in Twitter.

9. Room for Diversions: Efficiency makes it guilt-free to include non-medical content.

10. Speed: It’s astonishing how quickly Twitter users spot and link just-released reports that take days to appear on the web and weeks to appear on print.

11. Searches: Yes, traditional literature searches and Google have their advantages, but the “#” function can find links to information resources that you might otherwise miss.

12. I am on Twitter.

Jaan Sidorov, MD, is a primary care internist and former Medical Director at Geisinger Health Plan with over 20 years experience in primary care, disease management and population-based care coordination. He shares his knowledge and insights at Disease Management Care Blog, where this post first appeared.

Share on Twitter

5 Responses for “The Doctor Will Tweet You Now”

  1. BobbyG says:

    Nicely stated.

    I finally went over to The Twitter Dark Side. My blog traffic more than quadrupled in just the first couple of months.

    More importantly, I find breaking HIT and health care news items I’d have otherwise missed. Every day.

  2. This is a great overview … in addition to gathering and analyzing data on physicians’ use of twitter (MDigitalLife.com), my team and I have also been helping doctors to better understand and leverage the power of social media to help them advance the causes that are most important to them.

    This article just became a staple in my training materials!

  3. Great article! We’ve seen our Twitter followers grow quickly since joining, which in return gets us more website traffic. What is most impressive is a majority of our followers are health care providers and professionals. By that I mean doctors, nurses, dentists, massage therapists, mental health counselors, etc.

    From what we’ve seen this group is adopting such a quick and convenient form of social media because they do no have the time to sift through the fluff. We use our Twitter (@HealthLawFirm) to share news stories that might related to our followers and how we can possible help them through the same legal situations.

  4. Kristi Bruno says:

    Great post! I agree that Twitter can really help with efficiency. And definitely with breaking news. Thanks for your insights!

Leave a Reply

THCB BLOGGERS

FROM THE VAULT

The Power of Small Why Doctors Shouldn't Be Healers Big Data in Healthcare. Good or Evil? Depends on the Dollars. California's Proposition 46 Narrow Networking
MASTHEAD STUFF

MATTHEW HOLT
Founder & Publisher

JOHN IRVINE
Executive Editor

JONATHAN HALVORSON
Editor

JOE FLOWER
Contributing Editor

MICHAEL MILLENSON
Contributing Editor

ALEX EPSTEIN
Director of Digital Media

MICHELLE NOTEBOOM Business Development

MUNIA MITRA, MD
Clinical Medicine

Vikram Khanna
Editor-At-Large, Wellness

THCB FROM A-Z

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
@THCBStaff

WHERE IN THE WORLD WE ARE

The Health Care Blog (THCB) is based in San Francisco. We were founded in 2004 by Matthew Holt and John Irvine.

MEDIA REQUESTS

Interview Requests + Bookings. We like to talk. E-mail us.

BLOGGING
Yes. We're looking for bloggers. Send us your posts.

STORY TIPS
Breaking health care story? Drop us an e-mail.

CROSSPOSTS

We frequently accept crossposts from smaller blogs and major U.S. and International publications. You'll need syndication rights. Email a link to your submission.

WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR

Op-eds. Crossposts. Columns. Great ideas for improving the health care system. Pitches for healthcare-focused startups and business.Write ups of original research. Reviews of new healthcare products and startups. Data-driven analysis of health care trends. Policy proposals. E-mail us a copy of your piece in the body of your email or as a Google Doc. No phone calls please!

THCB PRESS

Healthcare focused e-books and videos for distribution via THCB and other channels like Amazon and Smashwords. Want to get involved? Send us a note telling us what you have in mind. Proposals should be no more than one page in length.

HEALTH SYSTEM $#@!!!
If you've healthcare professional or consumer and have had a recent experience with the U.S. health care system, either for good or bad, that you want the world to know about, tell us about it. Have a good health care story you think we should know about? Send story ideas and tips to editor@thehealthcareblog.com.

REPRINTS Questions on reprints, permissions and syndication to ad_sales@thehealthcareblog.com.

WHAT WE COVER

HEALTHCARE, GENERAL

Affordable Care Act
Business of Health Care
National health policy
Life on the front lines
Practice management
Hospital managment
Health plans
Prevention
Specialty practice
Oncology
Cardiology
Geriatrics
ENT
Emergency Medicine
Radiology
Nursing
Quality, Costs
Residency
Research
Medical education
Med School
CMS
CDC
HHS
FDA
Public Health
Wellness

HIT TOPICS
Apple
Analytics
athenahealth
Electronic medical records
EPIC
Design
Accountable care organizations
Meaningful use
Interoperability
Online Communities
Open Source
Privacy
Usability
Samsung
Social media
Tips and Tricks
Wearables
Workflow
Exchanges

EVENTS

TedMed
HIMSS South x South West
Health 2.0
WHCC
AHIP
AHIMA
Log in - Powered by WordPress.