Computer this it creates less worry about

Computer Mediated Communication
in Healthcare

Since technology
is more advanced than ever, we are now able to communicate with others through
things like computers. Lee and Zuercher (2017) say that computer-mediated
communication (CMC) is a slow growing process due to legal and privacy reasons but
still a developing tool in the healthcare field for doctors and patients. This
tool contains many positive aspects over face-to-face (FtF) or consultations
over the phone. On top of that, patient web users can effortlessly contact their
doctor any time of the day. When patients are able to do this it creates less
worry about interrupting their doctors time. Using computers as a form of
communication can also create a clear and concise description of symptoms and treatment.

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Computers also serve as a way to seek and share information. Things like
e-mails are used mainly to concentrate on non-urgent medical issues and
following up after an appointment. CMC can also be used as a tool for doctors
to know how their patients feel about their practices (Lee & Zuercher,
2017).

Due to its semi-anonymous
environment, CMC allows for patients to talk about sensitive topics and be more
willing to their problems with their physician (Lee & Zuercher, 2017). Lee
and Zuercher (2017) recommends that CMC be utilized more because it creates
less pressure and less embarrassment for patients compared to FtF. Since the
internet is widely used, it enables users or patients to receive social and relatable
needs with others in this virtual setting called online communities (Oh &
Lee, 2012). This is another reason why CMC creates a less intimidating or embarrassing
feeling for patients in a FtF setting because they have more people to relate
to rather than being the odd one out. Oh and Lee (2012) note that when a
patient spends more time in these online communities and spend time chatting with
other members of this community, they gain more social support. They also note
that those who felt empowered through their online communities were more than
willing to talk to their doctor (Oh & Lee, 2012). Therefore, creating a
positive environment. At the same time improving a doctor-patient relationship by
having a place where patients do not feel shy because of sensitive topics.

Avoiding Issues on Social Media

            Having
friends on social media is another way to network but for doctors and patients being
friends that is something that can be found as unprofessional. A study done by
Desai, Ndukwu, and Mitchell (2015) showed that physicians would not want their
patients as friends on social media platforms due to legal and privacy reasons.

It is said that doctors fear that an individuals’ health information could spread
on social media and into the wrong hands but to counter these problems it is
best to create two separate accounts to protect the reputation of the organization
and the practices of that doctor. One account can be used professionally while
the other can be used for close friends and family (Desai, Ndukwu, Mitchell,
2015). For professional reasons, users can also use sites like LinkedIn.

            Another
way to avoid issues is simply changing your privacy settings on social media.

Using things like Google+ can make being involved with patients easier because
it allows you to create “Circles”. These “circles” can be separated into
family, friends, and patients which allows the user to share specific things
with those circles (George, Rovniak, & Kraschnewski, 2013).

Building a Doctor-Patient
Relationship Through Social Media

            With
the internet in our own hands, access to information is easy and fast. Patient
web portals (PWP) allow for patients to instantly get their health records or
allow doctors to monitor their patients well being around the clock (Caldwell,
Minkoff, & Murthy, 2017). Caldwell, Minkoff, and Murthy (2017) found that
patient-providers using PWPs could also make sure their patient is complying
with their medical treatment and remind them to take better care of their
health. This overall creates better communication with the doctor and the
patient because of their constant interaction.  Another study shows that online communication
increased the chance of patients trusting their doctor (Jiang & Street,
2017).

Other than PWPs, the
internet or social media has a positive impact on the satisfaction of patients
and can lead to a better level of patient care. Factors that lead to satisfied
patients were having online advice, gathered information, and hearing stories
from other patients (Bugsham, Nick Hajli, Lin, Featherman, & Cohen, 2014). In
order to complete that patient care, it’s for doctors to learn more information
as well. The internet also benefits doctors because they share their expertise,
stories with other doctors, and improve routines (Sarasohn-Kahn, 2008).  Bugsham, Nick Hajli, Lin, Featherman, and
Cohen (2014) reported that social media also serves as a tool for certain
patients who are looking for information that they need for their health. They
also reported that patients used health forums to seek information before going
to their doctor as well.

With the internet
playing a role on how we get health information, de Oliveria (2014) states that
92% of the physicians in this study stated that patients used information found
online in the following appointment. Some of the information found made the
appointment in some cases, last a lot longer or doctors found this information
be to new to them. This study found that most physicians felt that the internet
helped their relationship with their patients. In order to maintain a healthy
relationship, it is crucial to be interactive. Huang and Dunbar (2013) found
that listening with their patients on social media is the most efficient way to
involve and maintain a healthy relationship with their users (Huang & Dunbar,
2013).