The social media industry has grown considerably in the last few years. In India, the usage of social media has increased by 47 million between 2020 and 2021.
The use of social media by doctors and healthcare organizations has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social media in healthcare helps to provide information about the SARS-CoV2 infection, availability of doctors, vaccination camps and other initiatives. However, it is of prime importance that social media users monitor the information exchanged for quality and reliability.
Objective: Understanding doctor’s perception on the use of social media during the COVID-19 pandemic in healthcare
A total of 532 doctors participated in the survey, including 38% others, 17% general medicine, 14% dentist, 13% general practitioners,7% cardiologists, 5% obstetrician & gynaecologist, 4% pediatrics and 2% anesthesiologists.
Around 33% of the doctors responded that medical information on COVID-19 provided in social media is apt and given 5 points on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest).
A majority of the doctors, 36% responded that social media provides value to physicians’ practice during COVID-19 pandemic by patient engagement and education.
Around 34% of the doctors responded that social media can be beneficial to healthcare organizations during COVID-19 pandemic by better portrayal of clinical expertise.
Around 53% doctors responded during COVID-19, social media communication by physicians and healthcare organisations help patients by providing health awareness and education.
Around 61% of doctors responded that maintaining authenticity is the main challenge associated with social media usage in healthcare in this time of COVID-19 pandemic.
Our survey revealed that the majority of the doctors find the medical information on COVID-19 provided in social media is apt. Around 36% of the doctors responded that social media provides value to physicians’ practice during COVID-19 pandemic by patient engagement and education and 34% agreed that it also helps healthcare organizations to portray their expertise. Social media platforms have been a key piece for the dissemination of information during COVID-19 pandemic. Around 53% of the doctors could help the patients by providing health awareness and education. But the majority of the doctors, around 61%, find that maintaining authenticity is the major challenge.
In order to use social media in a fruitful way, it is recommended that some basic guidelines are followed when sharing information on social networks in the COVID-19 era.
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