3 Reasons Radiologists Can’t Ignore Twitter Any Longer

2014-08-14
 

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Radiologists are being called upon to take a more visible, active role in healthcare. From speaking more frequently with patients to following the Imaging 3.0 initiative, radiologists are calling attention to the work they do and its value to patients.

One way for radiologists to increase their visibility and communicate value is by utilizing social media, with Twitter as a top platform. Twitter has more than 645 million users, with 58 million tweets generated each day. Radiologists can use Twitter to follow medical imaging literature, connect with patients and interact with some of the world’s top radiologists.

Keep Up With Medical News

Physicians who are active on Twitter see benefits, including the ability to quickly scan the latest medical news. “On my news feed in Twitter, not only can I keep up to date on the latest medical literature, but I can see debates between my fellow physicians about the various literature in real time,” wrote Iltifat Husain, MD in an article about medical conversations on social media on KevinMD.com.

Being able to see quick snippets of radiology news allows radiologists to efficiently use their time. That’s key when radiologists’ workdays are filled with analyzing MRIs, post-CTs from neurosurgery, or diagnosing a patient with an unusual case.

Radiologist Tip: Radiologists who are new to Twitter can easily track the latest medical news by using hashtags. If they type into the Twitter search bar hashtags such as #radiology, #MRI, #medicalimaging, or #healthcare, they can quickly scan tweets from various sources. Then they can click on links to medical journals or blog posts if they want to read about a certain topic further.

Connect With Patients

Radiologists can use Twitter to connect with patients and gain valuable insight. By tracking what people say about their frustrations with healthcare, barriers they face or worries about upcoming imaging tests, radiologists obtain helpful information about what their patients think and feel. Perhaps they discuss using a more open MRI machine or music therapy for a claustrophobic patient.

Radiologist Matthew Katz, MD, is so avid about radiologists being active on social media that he created a SlideShare on the topic. He says that healthcare professionals who use Twitter have more opportunities to help patients receive coordinated care, are able to network to help grow their careers and may even be enabled to facilitate collaboration for research purposes.

Radiologist Tip: Radiologists may choose to follow the healthcare organization for which they work, as well as hashtags including #patientopinion and #hcsm (healthcare social media). Physicians on social media can see who uses certain hashtags and follow patients, organizations or other radiologists who provide interesting insight connecting with patients.

Engage With Peers

Radiologists can ask questions to peers, answer questions that have been posed by others and keep on top of what the medical community is saying about radiology topics. Radiologists may also build their own following by engaging with established radiologists who have thousands of followers. Their followers may opt to engage with and follow radiologists who are new to Twitter.

Radiologist Tip: Other hashtags that radiologists can use to see peers’ discussions and questions include #MDchat, #mammography and #DX_imaging. They may also choose to follow medical imaging organizations such as @AuntMinnie and follow other radiologists who are active in discussions.

When it comes to social media in healthcare, radiologists who are active on Twitter can garner a number of benefits. They’re able to stay on top of the latest medical imaging news at a glance, can connect with patients and have opportunities to engage with their peers.

Radiologists who aren’t sure how to begin can visit these tips from Twitter for details.

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