The use of social media in healthcare: organizational, clinical, and patient perspectives

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2013;183:244-8.


The purpose of this review paper is to explore the impacts of social media on healthcare organizations, clinicians, and patients. This study found that healthcare organizations, clinicians and patients can benefit from the use of social media. For healthcare organizations, social media can be used primarily for community engagement activities such as fundraising, customer service and support, the provision of news and information, patient education, and advertising new services. The study also found that the most widely used social media venues for physicians were online communities where physicians can read news articles, listen to experts, research new medical developments, network, and communicate with colleagues regarding patient issues. Patients can benefit from the use of social media through education, obtaining information, networking, performing research, receiving support, goal setting, and tracking personal progress. Future research should further examine other financial, technological, informational, ethical, legal, and privacy issues surrounding the use of social media in healthcare.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Technology / methods*
  • Information Dissemination / methods*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Participation / methods*
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Social Media*
  • Telemedicine / methods*