Mastering social media is important for a successful career in any industry, and healthcare is no exception. There are special challenges when using social media in the healthcare setting, however. If you share patient information by mistake, you could violate HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This is the law that protects the patient’s privacy, secures the patient’s medical record, and includes steps for notifying the Office of Civil Rights, or the OCR, when a security breach occurs and the patient’s medical record is illegally accessed. In light of these considerations, you may be wondering where to start, or how to use social media to further your career as a healthcare professional. Here are six things you can do to invent or improve your social media presence as a healthcare professional:
1. Start a social media account (or several social media accounts).
You might choose to start a social media account to invent or improve your social media presence in the healthcare field. Some of the most popular and recognizable social media platforms include LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. LinkedIn is popular with many industries, and healthcare is no exception. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, you should definitely create a LinkedIn account, as well as an account on Twitter and Facebook for networking purposes, if you don’t already have one. Remember that you may want to create a separate business account, so that you don’t mix the information pertaining to your personal account with your business account.
2. Add anyone you meet.
Make sure you add, follow, connect with, and friend as many people as you can to increase your professional network. People from your classes and your professors are great first connections and serve as a great starting point to further your healthcare career.
3. List all the skills you can think of.
This tip is specific to LinkedIn. Don’t be shy about listing your skills, as well as your educational and career achievements on LinkedIn. Recruiters use those skills to search for good healthcare candidates like yourself, especially when new positions open up, so give yourself credit and include as many of your accomplishments as possible on your LinkedIn page.
4. Follow healthcare businesses and leaders.
Make sure you add healthcare-related businesses near you, or businesses that you are interested in. You can also follow Avidity Medical Design Consultants, LLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and Reddit, for example.
5. Find things to share.
Share information relevant to healthcare. Pick things that interest you so your network can see you are passionate about healthcare. Make sure not to share anything that can be seen as controversial; remember, future employers may see these posts. The Avidity Medical Design Blog is a good place to get posts to share; there are many articles on the blog that pertain to a wide variety of healthcare subjects.
6. Post and share often.
The more you post and share, the more your name will come up in other people’s feeds, and the more your followers will look forward to new posts on different healthcare topics. These topics may pertain to pursuing a career in healthcare, advancing in the healthcare field if you’re already a healthcare professional, or preventative healthcare tips.
You can use these tips to enhance your social media presence on just about any platform. In summary, no matter what social media site you choose, just remember these two rules when using social media as a healthcare professional:
Don’t share confidential information. Again, HIPAA violations have serious consequences, including possible financial penalties, up to and including criminal prosecution. Be aware of this and avoid sharing confidential patient information on social media. You do not want to risk violating HIPAA law by posting confidential information about patients.
Don’t share controversial information. This is another reason why you may want to have a professional account separate from your personal one. The information that you share may potentially be controversial from a healthcare treatment or technology standpoint, so you want to be careful about the information that you share.
You can start finding useful information to share by reviewing the articles on the Avidity Medical Design Blog. You may also want to follow the blog for useful, up-to-date, and pertinent insights on healthcare trends.
LinkedIn has over 300 million users and 2 new users join every second. These statistics put LinkedIn well on its way to achieving its stated goal of 3 billion total users. This immense and fast-growing network of professionals is a gold mine to numerous professions, and healthcare education is one of them. Here are ten ways to use LinkedIn for healthcare education networking:
Start big – A simple initial search for “healthcare educator” returns over 74,000 results. Large numbers are encouraging when starting out because it means you have lots of room to narrow your focus and find the contacts you want to make.
Narrow the field – Increase the fidelity of your results by adding on additional keywords to your initial search. Using the example search above, the next step would be to add a location, institution or specialty. For example, “healthcare educator Iowa” returns a more manageable 900+ results. Keep narrowing until you have between 10 and 25 results to work with.
Reach out – Once you have sufficiently narrowed your results to a pool of professionals that best suit your interests, take the time to read through their profiles. Hit the connect button and add to your network.
Make sure your profile is complete – Listing degrees and certifications, like M.S. in Instructional and Performance Technology or certified in Dreamweaver will allow your profile to show up in searches done by other healthcare educators.
Join relevant groups – There are at least 5 groups for healthcare educators. Groups allow you to interact with large groups of people that may not have appeared in your previous searches.
Leave your comfort zone – Search for certifications that you might aspire to but don’t yet hold. Networking with other professionals who have already achieved your goals can be a valuable source of lessons learned.
Remember your past – Think back to individuals you may have worked with or gone to school with who had interesting ideas for healthcare education. Chances are they have had a chance to implement those ideas or formulate new ones. They can be a valuable source of inspiration.
Read the articles – In addition to individuals and positions, you can search LinkedIn for articles on healthcare education, tools and technology. Connect with authors of articles that you find interesting or informative.
Follow up on views – As you spend more time on LinkedIn and make more connections, you will receive more views – other people looking at your profile. Be sure to view their profiles after receiving notification, and make connections.
Go beyond the first level – Chances are that the individuals you connect with have other worthy connections. Don’t be afraid to look through their profiles and connect with healthcare educators once or twice removed.
If you have questions about any aspect of healthcare education, please don’t hesitate to contact us.