Wk Five 2nd Response-informatics


What are the two strengths and two challenges of using social media in healthcare?

According to recent studies from 2015, 65% of adult Americans utilize social networking sites (Nelson & Staggers, 2018). However, this percentage is most likely significantly higher today. Since we are living in a post-COVID (timewise, not post-disease) time, we have seen how health informatics, such as telehealth visits, have played such a crucial role in healthcare. Another change since the COVID pandemic is the increase in the use of social media platforms such as TikTok. This platform, specifically, has an endless supply of videos regarding healthcare, from patients’ perspectives as well as from healthcare staff’s perspectives. Approximately 60% of doctors in 2015 believed that patients’ quality of care benefited from social media (Nelson & Staggers, 2018).

There are many benefits regarding social media in healthcare, one prominent one being in the field of research. The text discusses three areas within this field that a growing number of studies have focused on. “(1) description of the content on social media sites, (2) the use of social media, (3) potential use of social networks for research” (Nelson & Staggers, 2018). These areas of study focus on the type of content being circulated, how certain patient populations utilize social media, how clinical trial subjects are recruited, and how to promote data-sharing with specific disease populations (Nelson & Staggers, 2018). Another benefit to utilizing social media within healthcare involves helping to promote access to information and social support on networks such as Facebook, YouTube, and now more than ever, TikTok.

While there are many benefits to social network usage, there are still challenges to perfectly implementing these platforms in healthcare. A few oppositional points to the use of social networks are that it takes a long time to learn, some healthcare providers may view social media participation as unprofessional, and that it is too simple to accidently post something that can breach a patient’s confidentiality (Nelson & Staggers, 2018). There is also the possibility that a healthcare worker could accidentally post something on social media that violates the policies of the facility or company that he or she works for. It is crucial to understand the appropriate way to use social media platforms to improve healthcare.


Nelson, R., & Staggers, N. (2018). Ch 13. In Health Informatics (pp. 220–240)., Elsevier.