Using Twitter to spread health information

Would you like to share disease-specific or health promoting information with your patients? Want to send them news of the latest research relating to their medical conditions? Want to link them to local resources that can support their care and quality of life?

One easy method is to post these on Twitter. Because you are spreading information and not details about a specific person’s medical condition, loss of privacy is not risked. If you get a question from a reader, you can answer in a private way, rather than on this public forum of Twitter.

Wondering how this would look? The Emily Center at Phoenix Children’s Hospital is the the most comprehensive pediatric health library in the Southwest, providing materials about child health, injury, and illness. It serves everyone in Arizona, without charge. Every day, The Emily Center posts a link to timely health information from @emilycenter You can see these tweets on Twitter, without signing up, by going to www.twitter.com/emilycenter

If you use a service like Tweetdeck, you can schedule tweets to be sent at a later date and time (www.tweetdeck.com). So to have an active presence, you don’t have to get on Twitter every day. However, it’s good to check your tweets regularly, just in case there’s a response or question.

Spreading quality health information yourself may prove to save you time, in the long run. If your patients get their information from good sources, they are less likely to come to you with inaccurate or unproven information than you then have to take time to discuss.

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