About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles --- all geared to improve your quality of life. Please read our Disclaimer

30 comments on “Why Your Healthcare Social Media Digital Footprint Matters

  1. I was shocked when my, then 18-year-old, daughter told me she never checked her email because it was too slow. She is 21 now and she still doesn’t check her email. My 18-year-old son is the same way. My kids, nieces and nephews all communicate via Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler and text as the preferred methods.

    I’m sure this will change when they get into a business setting as email is definitely a requirement.

    And you are exactly right about the discussion is taking place whether you are part of it or not. Patients search for doctor names online. We see this in every one of our medical sites. Yet it amazes me how many MDs would rather stick there head in the sand and ignore their image online instead of leverage this new medium. Fortunately more and more come around each year as they understand the potential in social media not only for attracting patients but also for engaging peers and maintaining relevancy in their field.

    Keep the articles coming!

  2. Brilliant post, Howard! Good enough to make the cut for posting on our (SUNY Upstate) Yammer MedEd 2.1 group site (New Directions Task Force). Let’s hope they read it (two-thirds are M.D.s)!

  3. Great article for the new year…With your permission I would like to use some of this in my blog and also link to it on my G+, FB and Twitter accounts. Let’s try to do a G+ Hangout.. Let me know the best times for you, and I will gladly accomodate you. We now have the capacity to livestream hangouts for those who cannot join the hangout due to the limitation of 10 participants. gml

  4. So true Howard, so true! Clinicians are treating patients that are much more involved in the decision making process, not only What treatment they receive, but by who.

    They are seeking information that will help them choose who to Hire to help them manage their care.

    Out of site, out of mind…..

  5. Hello – thank you for using the graphic from my book on Digital Footprints…. agree with the two aspects.

    1. you need to control ( understand the implications) your data about you and what you say about yourself in a digital world –

    2. you cannot control what others say and think in a digital world but you need to be aware of it and respond

    A digital footprint is the combination of what you say and others say, and then how i analyse the data I can get access to = this again is out of your control.

    great topic 🙂


  6. Do you think health care social media has a better chance of getting adopted by younger doctors? I was recently reviewing the docs on Twitter … there’s literally less than 30 docs actually using it on a regular basis. Same docs, same voices – there isn’t much adoption. Similar thing on Facebook – these are mostly accounts set up by website companies, not the doctors themselves. Hospitals seem to be using social media the right way, but then again they have the financial resources to hire someone to do it full-time for them as employees. Not many docs can afford a marketing associate.

    However, medical blogging (which is considered part of social media) is very widely accepted. Doctors who design websites nowadays almost always start a blog – now if we can get them to update them regularly 🙂

  7. Howard, I guess I’m pinch hitting for you at HiMSS 2012, as I’ve been asked to do the ‘Tactics for Establishing a Strong Digital Footprint’ session at the Social Media Center. Will put my best foot forward, sorry to miss seeing you!

  8. Great topic, Dr. Luks.

    I think the reason “why” doctors need to be online is easy – Because our patients need us to be.

    If a doc chooses to take the opportunity to join the online space, the benefits you describe are secondary. Revenue, reputation, outcomes… these come second to helping patients make quality healthcare decisions for themselves and their families.

    I love to be a part of creating my digital footprint. It is exciting, challenging, and meaningful to my patients, and my career. I just think my footprint looks a little more like a high heel….

  9. Social media gives you the tools to find where your patients are meeting online, build relationships with them, and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Access to health information online is empowering patients and forcing medicine to become part of a more consumer driven market. For doctors to distinguish themselves from each other, they must respond to a digital society which now demands transparency and engagement.

  10. Absolutely! My facebook page for my practice is my biggest source of new patients. Facebook is fantastic, I can post an article on a particular injury and share it to a couple feeds. Then in real time I can respond as others comment… Social media is the new word of mouth.

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