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    Improving glaucoma patient adherence with social media

    Time for ophthalmologists to take advantage of digital technology to further help their patients

    Take-home message:


    Social media platforms are popular, multiplying, and potentially a way to reach patients with reliable information that could help build doctor-patient relationships and improve adherence to glaucoma medication.



    Hanover, NHSocial media could be a means for ophthalmologists to improve adherence in glaucoma patients, according to Robert M. Schertzer, MD, MEd, FRCSC.

    This form of information exchange could create better informed and more engaged patients, and a stronger doctor-patient relationship, all fostering greater adherence in glaucoma patients, said Dr. Schertzer, assistant professor of surgery, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.

    In case you missed it: Expert hints: 7 ways to avoid HIPAA violations via social media

    While optometrists and the ophthalmic industry are already very active in social media, ophthalmologists are not, Dr. Schertzer said.

    However, most ophthalmologists are by now accustomed to patients who arrive for appointments armed with questions based on what they’re read on Google, WebMD, Wikipedia, online support groups, Twitter, and other sources. Doctors also may have discovered firsthand or from colleagues that patients use social media and ratings sites to both praise and criticize their healthcare providers.

    It’s time for ophthalmologists to venture deeper into social media to help disseminate more reliable information, a step toward improving adherence, said Dr. Schertzer.

    NEXT: Where to start

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