The Affordable Care Act has been quite a hot topic lately. When visitors hit a site that did not work, they took to social media to speak their minds. Even with all of the social media and news media coverage, people are still confused!  Check out the responses from the general public when Jimmy Kimmel took to the streets in his segment, Obamacare vs. The Affordable Care Act.

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Whether it has been out of rage, disgust or confusion, Twitter has been filled with comments surrounding the Affordable Care Act. As the government works on fixing www.healthcare.gov, social media seems like the best place to get help and find healthcare options. A few days ago, I ran across an infograph with some pretty noteworthy statistics:

  • 85% of healthcare companies already engage in some form of social media marketing or plan to do so within the next year.
  • 1 out of every 7 physicians contribute content daily to a social media website.
  • 41% of people said social media would affect their choice of healthcare provider.

Being that Nashville is on the forefront of the nation’s healthcare and digital industries, I believe these statistics are probably even higher for Tennesseans. Whether you’re a provider or a patient, here are a few ways to leverage social media in wake of the changes:

Social media tips for patients

  • Make sure you’re following the best information. Because there are a lot of people talking about the Affordable Care Act, it can be difficult to navigate through the noise. #GetCovered has become the official hashtag for the healthcare push and there are other helpful hashtags to help you find the right information.
  • Leverage social media to find a provider that’s right for you. Whether it’s looking at the reviews of other patients through social media sites or monitoring the response and engagement rate of potential healthcare providers, there are lots of things you can learn about the quality of a potential provider by doing a little research through social media.

Social media tips for providers

  • Share useful information. There are a lot of things that people are still trying to figure out with the Affordable Care Act. The best way to leverage social media is to share helpful information with your existing and potential patients. Share what you know in a simple, straightforward way.
  • View social media as a dialogue, not a monologue. Social media isn’t just a broadcast tool; it’s a place for conversation. If you want to really leverage it, use it to answer questions your patients have. Engage with them. Respond to their tweets or comments. The best way to set yourself apart as a thought-leader on the changes in healthcare is to proactively answer the questions people are asking.

As patients and providers look ahead to the future of healthcare, it’s important to leverage the tools we have and work together to find the best healthcare solution for everyone.