Still not convinced Social Media is right for you? Let's take a look into the future.
The social revolution
One thing we learned based on all the feedback is that the medical community, physical therapists especially, are very interested in joining the social revolution, but they just don’t know how. These tools were never a part of their daily lives and now they are foreign and hard to understand. This idea leads us to the fundamental problem of knowledge and comfort level and how that leads to acceptance. We hear a lot of “This all sounds great, but I don’t have the time” or “I think this Social Media thing just isn’t for me.” Ignoring this movement in communication is a folly, and successful clinics everywhere will take the time to learn, integrate, and update their social outlets.
Unfortunately, those clinicians who are against adopting this new technology are going to be left behind. It's crucial to give your clinic the appropriate voice for the mere fact that your competition is going to be out there. In my research for the Social Media month, I stumbled across the following quote:
“On the basis of current life expectancy, it is possible that an individual over the age of 50 today could be cared for by a physician who is not yet born.”
– Jack Cochran, MD, Executive Director, The Permanente Federation
While the quote certainly illustrates how far medicine has come, it also should change the minds of Social Media deniers.
A new generation
Someone who isn’t even born yet is going to grow up with Social Media in the palm of their hands, literally. A Physical Therapist of the future won’t be able to comprehend a world without it. In turn, patients will be the same way. They will demand Social Interaction, and likely factor in this element into their provider decision.
Web Tools that have a social element within them are going to be the means by which people share ideas. Right now, a past patient will tell thier family that they should choose you for physical therapy. In the future, that same patient will instead poll thier 1,500 twitter followers to find a physical therapist. The difference in communication is staggering.
When we speak about future, we arn't speaking of a distant time. The change isn’t coming, it’s actually happening right now before our eyes. Every day we are coming closer to an environment driven by social interactions and peer feedback. There are no reasonable arguments and no viable excuses for why Social Media isn’t an option for your practice. Social is here to stay and learning how to integrate these tools into your practice is going to keep your clinic on the cutting edge and maintain your engagement with your community and your patients.