Online technologies, such as business email marketing and social media, have opened up new avenues for physicians, psychiatrists and other care workers to stay in touch with patients and offer them helpful hints and information through an easy channel.
For example, Care for Your Mind is an online forum for individuals suffering from moods, their families and doctors to come together to discuss the status of mental health care and how changes introduced by the Affordable Care Act may affect them, Psychiatric News reported. The blog has already seen success, with nearly 5,550 total visitors – 1,500 of whom were directed to the site via external sources such as Facebook and Twitter.
Furthermore, the website is helping physicians and psychiatrists better aid their patients during a confusing transitional period in regard to access to insurance and the quickest methods to get coverage, the news source stated.
"I think that clinicians should go to the website for issues that are concerns for our patients," William Gilmer, a mood disorder specialist and associate professor of clinical psychology at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, told Psychiatric News. "It helps us, as clinicians, to become better advocates and to help our patients become better advocates for themselves during this transitional period of our healthcare system."
Psychiatrists can further their reach with such blogs by employing targeted email lists. While many patients will be able to find the online help they need through networks such as Facebook and Twitter, not everyone has a presence on these websites. Instead, a majority of individuals still rely on email accounts as their primary mode of online communication, making email a critical channel for physicians of all specialties to engage with.
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