b'LEADERSHIP GUIDE|54% of physicians use social media for worktime-consuming and deciphering its con- There will always be patients who will purposes. 2Social media is definitely beingtent can be complicated without the benefitbecome outliers and challenging to treat. embraced by healthcare providers, but I dontof immediate answers. I caution providers toProviders who encounter patients with think patients should miss out on the exper- appropriately research before sharing any- undiagnosed conditions or conditions that are tise of their primary provider in return for thething online about a patient and/or renderingnot improving timely will benefit from other thoughts of those who are exposed to theiran opinion on something that another clini- opinions as long as the necessary steps have case online.cian has shared about a patient. been taken to protect patient information.2. What have you witnessed regarding the4. Aside from the risks associated with7. How can providers best balance the use of social media for crowdsourcing pur- being given incorrect information online,use of social media in their efforts to receive poses, and what are your thoughts as a fellowwhat are the concerns associated with sharingexpert clinical advice for the benefit of their healthcare provider? personal information or photos in an attemptpatients?I personally enjoy reading patient casesto collect advice online? A small percentage of patients will be and related articles posted on social media.First of all, you must follow HIPAA-relatedlabeled as hard to heal, palliative, or their But ongoing interaction among website userspolicies. I am not rendering legal advice here,true illness is not diagnosed. For these undi-and comments than can be shared immedi- but every effort must be taken to protect patientagnosed patients, using social media as a ately in real time can be unnerving to read.privacy. A recent conversation with a medicalresource can be helpful, only if using appro-Unfortunately, sometimes, an irresponsi- legal lawyer prompted the following consider- priate sites and following professional and bility related to how the website is regulatedationspatients must be informed and willingethical standards. Providers can seek advice may result in the reader having to decipherto sign appropriate consent and discussion offrom expert peers in social media sites or whether or not what is being shared is evi- sensitive information must be conducted in afrom other credible sources.dence based. Those clinicians who are usingprofessional manner. Any information that is8. What do you see as the most significant social media to seek answers on difficult casesshared online is stored forever and can not bedangers to crowdsourcing among healthcare must remember to always follow facility pol- totally retracted if false or incorrect.for purposes of medical consultation?icy on the subject, receive necessary patient5. What are some of the advantages toWe need to consider that the per-(written) consent, follow privacy regulations,using the Internets social media to getson providing input may not be a qual-and determine the proper social media site toinsight from peers when used in modera- ified healthcare provider or have the utilize through research.tion and in conjunction with documentednecessary credentials, and so any input pro-There are some sites that are only intendedresearch? vided online cannot serve as formal medi-for healthcare professionals while others mayThe other side of the coin to everythingcal consultation. Steps for protecting patient allow for general access. Social media is ahere is that patients may be in need of helpinformation are not always taken, and a lack resource tool that should not be a substituteand turning to social media for answers orof necessary and pertinent information can for someone being examined and treated byguidance. And there are multiple advantagescompromise any conversation online.a medical professional. Healthcare providersfor using social media as a healthcare pro- 9. Can crowdsourcing actually be seen as need to know who it is they are communicat- fessional. It can be quite beneficial for solv- a time-management issue when consider-ing with online. ing difficult, chronic, and rare problems. Foring that anything collected in this fashion 3. Please describe the temptation that youothers, it can connect peers from all overwould need to be validated by the literature?think exists among todays providers to seekthe world with increasing interaction. AndYes and no. The question really is, Will online consultation for a chance at immediatetheres always an opportunity to learn fromthe end user take time to validate the infor-feedback versus conducting extensive research.other cases that might prepare us for assist- mation provided or do their own diligence As our patients medical conditionsing future difficult-to-heal patients.to ensure that input is provided by a quali-become increasingly more complex and6. Do you think providers have a moralfied provider? The answer is, hopefully.nthere is more of a sense of urgency to attainobligation to not use social media as their first exceptional results, we must rely on each oth- attempt at clinical advice? Why or why not? REFERENCESers experiences and knowledge to help theseTheres no easy way to answer this, but1. Wazny, K. Crowdsourcing ten years in: patients. In the most basic form, we can turnpolicies should be well defined to guideA review. J Glob Health. 2017; 7(2):020602.to our co-workers for their opinions or advice.healthcare staff. Best-practice guidelines2. MMS Physicians Guide to Social But when this is not a viable option, where elsethat are evidenced-based driven should exist.Media. Massachusetts Medical Society. do we turn to for information?Mentorship and live education opportunities2015. Accessed online: www.massmed.A few clinics may have resource expertsare the most important experiences, in myorg/Governance-and-Leadership/available, but everyone has the ability to eas- opinion, but the reality is that theres a limitCommittees,-Task-Forces-and-Sections/ily join social media for immediate feed- to how much of this consultation can occurMMS-PhysiciansGuide-to-Social-back. Conducting clinical research is moredue to time constraints and other difficulties.Media-(pdf)/28 LEADERSHIP GUIDE|2020| www.elitecme.com'