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Technology played a vital role in promoting the efficiency and availability of affordable healthcare. Various components of technology such as social media, internet, and other online platforms have facilitated bridging of the gap between the patients and the healthcare providers (Abbasi et al., 2018). However, there are multiple factors that nurses and other healthcare providers should consider before using social media as a core communication and teaching tool. Firstly, it is critical to consider the essence of privacy between the doctor and the patient. Other significant considerations include security, accessibility, and cost of using social media.
Multiple types of social media are beneficial to patients and healthcare providers. The virtual networks or online community is one of the beneficial social media platforms. The network not only enables the patient to access information but also facilitates the acquisition of critical health data by doctors and nurses (Kotsenas et al., 2018). Some examples of virtual networks include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, among others. Most of the social networks possess a provision for direct and social messages (Abbasi et al., 2018). Hence, nurses can choose to either communicate privately or publicly to the patients.
Although social media possesses various benefits, it also attracts multiple challenges to the patients and the healthcare providers. Firstly, social media, as a communication tool, limits the nurse’s ability to examine the patients before prescribing the medication or advice. Besides, the use of social media limit’s the patient’s ability to distinguish between professional and fraudulent doctors.
Abbasi, R. A., Maqbool, O., Mushtaq, M., Aljohani, N. R., Daud, A., Alowibdi, J. S., & Shahzad, B. (2018). Saving lives using social media: Analysis of the role of Twitter for personal blood donation requests and dissemination. Telematics and Informatics, 35(4), 892-912.
Kotsenas, A. L., Arce, M., Aase, L., Timimi, F. K., Young, C., & Wald, J. T. (2018). The strategic imperative for the use of social media in health care. Journal of the American College of Radiology, 15(1), 155-161.