Hawaiian Eye/Retina Meeting
Hawaiian Eye/Retina Meeting
January 19, 2014
1 min read
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Speaker: Actively manage social media in your ophthalmology practice

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KOLOA, Hawaii — Ophthalmology practices should embrace technology, including social media, because it “has transformed the way we do business,” but there are both advantages and challenges, a speaker said here.

“There is less control over access and distribution,” Candace S. Simerson, COE, CMPE, CAHCM, Minnesota Eye Consultants president and COO, said at the Hawaiian Eye meeting.

Candace Simerson

Ophthalmology practices should keep in mind that social media postings create a permanent written record, HIPAA rules apply, and patients can disclose their own information but the practice cannot. And, sometimes, silence is the best response, she said.

“The thing that’s different about social media compared to other types of advertising activity is that you’re already in the game whether you choose to be or not,” Simerson said. Patients rely on social media review sites to decide which physician to see. “Do you know what your patients are saying about you online?” she asked.

The key to protecting a brand from negative postings is to monitor major review sites and to respond within 4 hours or less, if one chooses to respond at all. Successful management involves the development of a team focused on patient engagement and content generation to build brand presence and personality of the practice.

“Be responsive, but be careful,” Simerson said. “Make sure that whoever is responding to reviews is being appropriate. Stay educated; the field is rapidly evolving.” –by Patricia Nale

Disclosure: Simerson is a consultant for Alcon Laboratories and for Physician Recommended Nutriceuticals Omega Health; and she is on the speakers’ bureau for Allergan.