The 21st century can often be a bewildering place to explore as a both a patient and a practitioner.
Dealing with a neurological disorder can often lead to more than just a headache, especially if you try to seek your answers online. Doctors and practitioners are rarely spared these difficulties, in fact the internet can often throw more obstacles than solutions at doctors and scientists who are trying to get to the bottom of a confusing neurological mystery. We’ve had a chat with a few scientists and asked them about how the internet affects them; the good and bad.
Things that can help us:
Digital marketing agencies
For any private medical practice or hospital, an efficient digital marketing agency is a must-have. Our sector is rarely one that is short on cash, but we still rely heavily on traditional advertising methods. In Merseyside, on particular private hospital has made great strides by hiring a marketing agency in Liverpool to handle their website. A digital agency can optimise your website, help you appear in the search engines and also manage your online reputation.
Although we’re not constantly drawing from this resource on a day-to-day basis, the NHS website is an invaluable tool for educating patients. Unlike the myriad of unhelpful, contradictory health based websites out there, the NHS site is constantly updated with relevant information that is laid out in an easy to read format. This site is also full of great tips for those looking to lead a healthy lifestyle and avoid the pitfalls of bad habits.
Transparent and honest reviews
The internet offers us the opportunity to leave reviews on almost anything imaginable: televisions, movies, neurological surgeries. It seems bizarre, but consumers have now been given the final say in determining many hospitals’ and doctors’ futures. Although there are certainly negative ways that this can work out (see below), the upside of this is that if you or your team are doing a good job then this should reflect in your reviews.
Things that can often confuse us:
Medical advice sites
These are often the bane of doctors and nurses lives. Whilst the internet has provided us with a real opportunity to share our knowledge and grow as individuals, there’s also the opportunity for misinformation to worm it’s way in. Thanks to the huge amounts of money that can be made from advertising on websites many medical sites vie for attention online, unfortunately this competition can often lead to misleading articles. Worried patients can often change their minds concerning treatments or question their doctors altogether when presented with this conflicting information.
Although honest, transparent reviews can help private patients get a clear picture of a particular institution might be like, the openness of the internet means that occasionally a biased, or unfair review will slip through the gaps. Patients who feel like they’ve been mistreated can damage a doctor or hospital’s reputation by leaving reviews or comments on their website, or even leaving abuse on forums. It’s nigh on impossible to stop people from doing this, so the only thing we can do to prevent this from happening is by regulating our service and ensuring that we have an open line of communications with our patients.
Scammers & fraudsters
Finally, it’s a sad truth that there are bad people in this world who would seek to benefit from others’ misfortune. Online scammers can use email and social networks to approach people who are sick with ‘miracle cures’ or other such things that promise a quick fix to their medical ailments. Although the patient might feel like the offer is too good to be true, their desperation to get well will inevitably push a handful into the hands of these criminals. Old and lonely people are often the victims of such crimes, education and involvement of the police is the only way we can fight against these con-artists.