February 2014 - Internet Resources Digest


Social Media in Health Care and Social Work

AIHA Internet Resources Digest
February 2014

Supporting Access to High Quality Online Resources

Spotlight on: Social Media in Health Care and Social Work

Social media for healthcare and social work can contribute to increased communication, new education opportunities, provider efficiency, treatment efficacy and organizational transparency.

Reviews and Guides

Gholami-Kordkheili F, Wild V, Strech D. The impact of social media on medical professionalism: a systematic qualitative review of challenges and opportunities. J Med Internet Res. 2013 Aug 28;15(8):e184.

„The accommodation of the traditional core values of medicine to the characteristics of social media presents opportunities as well as challenges for medical professionalism. This review builds a unique source of information that can inform further research and policy development in this regard. A recognized scoping review methodology was used. Search strategy was based on four themes: social media, patient experience, quality, and health care. Four online scientific databases were searched, articles were screened, and data extracted.

Results related to the research question were described and categorized according to type of social media. Social media and particularly rating sites are an interesting new source of information about quality of care from the patient’s perspective.

This new source should be used to complement traditional methods, since measuring quality of care via social media has other, but not less serious, limitations. Future research should explore whether social media are suitable in practice for patients, health insurers, and governments to help them judge the quality performance of professionals and organizations.“


Harkiran K. Gill, Navkiranjit Gill, Sean D. Young. Online Technologies for Health Information and Education: A Literature Review. Journal of Consumer Health On the Internet , Volume 17, Issue 2, 2013, p.139-150

“There is a growing body of research focused on the use of social media and Internet technologies for health education and information sharing. The authors reviewed literature on this topic, with a specific focus on the benefits and concerns associated with using online social technologies as health education and communication tools.

Studies suggest that social media technologies have the potential to safely and effectively deliver health education if privacy concerns are addressed. Utility of social mediabased health education and communication will improve as technology developers and public health officials determine ways to improve information accuracy and address privacy concerns.”


Terri L. Schmitt, ,Susan S. Sims-Giddens, Richard G. Booth. Social Media Use in Nursing Education. Online J Issues Nurs. 2012;17(3)

„Nurses play a significant role in identification, interpretation, and transmission of knowledge and information within healthcare. Social media is a platform that can assist nursing faculty in helping students to gain greater understanding of and/or skills in professional communication; health policy; patient privacy and ethics; and writing competencies.

Although there are barriers to integration of social media within nursing education, there are quality resources available to assist faculty to integrate social media as a viable pedagogical method.

This article discusses the background and significance of social media tools as pedagogy, and provides a brief review of literature. To assist nurse educators who may be using or considering social media tools, the article offers selected examples of sound and pedagogically functional use in course and program applications; consideration of privacy concerns and advantages and disadvantages; and tips for success.“ (Free registration with Medscape required).


Grajales III FJ, Sheps S, Ho K, Novak-Lauscher H, Eysenbach G. Social Media: A Review and Tutorial of Applications in Medicine and Health Care. J Med Internet Res 2014;16(2):e13

„The role of social media in the medical and health care sectors is far reaching, and many questions in terms of governance, ethics, professionalism, privacy, confidentiality, and information quality remain unanswered.

By following the guidelines presented, professionals have a starting point to engage with social media in a safe and ethical manner. Future research will be required to understand the synergies between social media and evidence-based practice, as well as develop institutional policies that benefit patients, clinicians, public health practitioners, and industry alike…

The potential violation of ethical standards, patient privacy, confidentiality, and professional codes of practice, along with the misrepresentation of information, are the most common contributors to individual and institutional fear against the use of social media in medicine and health care.“


Social Networking Principles Toolkit

The American Nurses Association (ANA) has released its Principles for Social Networking and the Nurse: Guidance for the Registered Nurse, a resource to guide nurses and nursing students in how they maintain professional standards in new media environments.


Sue Watling, Jim Rogers. Why social work students need to be careful about online identities. Guardian Professional, Friday 5 October 2012

The social work profession faces a new challenge – that of digital inclusion. Students should be aware of this when online.


Social media considerations for social work students

Few key practices that should be kept in mind when using social media or dating websites. The following guidelines can be used to help protect yourself and the clients who seek your services, along with your reputation and future livelihood as a social worker.


Amgad M, Alfaar AS. Integrating Web 2.0 in Clinical Research Education in a Developing Country. J Cancer Educ. 2014 Jan 7 [Epub ahead of print]

„Over two consecutive years, Children's Cancer Hospital - Egypt 57357, in collaboration with Egyptian universities, supports undergraduate medical students to cross the gap between clinical practice and clinical research. This time, there was a greater emphasis on reaching out to the students using social media and other Web 2.0 tools, which were heavily used in the course, including Google Drive, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Mendeley, Google Hangout, Live Streaming, Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap), and Dropbox.

The course participants came from 14 different universities throughout Egypt. Students' feedback was positive and supported the integration of Web 2.0 tools in academic courses and modules. Google Drive, Facebook, and Dropbox were found to be most useful.“


Editorial. Social media and the new eprofessionalism

In this Editorial authors canvass some of the advantages, and disadvantages of social media, to facilitate 'e-professional' conduct.


Collections of links

Social Media and Social Worker

Collection of recommended links from the National Association of Social Workers (US)


HLWIKI International

AIHA Internet Resources Digest Forthcoming Topics [Provisional]

  • Telemedicine
  • Resources for Paramedics

AIHA Related Resources

Social Bookmarking. Internet Resources Digest, July 2013

Medical Wikipedias. Internet Resources Digest, June 2012

Social Media in Health Care. Internet Resources Digest, July 2011

About the AIHA Internet Resources Digest

The Internet Resources Digest — previously called the Health Resources Digest — is distributed free of charge as a service of the American International Health Alliance’s Knowledge Management Program thanks to the generous support of the American people through the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The Knowledge Management Program is implemented through AIHA’s HIV/AIDS Twinning Center Program, which is funded through a cooperative agreement with the US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The Internet Resources Digest is compiled by Irina Ibraghimova, PhD, Library and Information Management Specialist, HealthConnect International (healthconnect-intl.org). The contents are the responsibility of AIHA and do not necessarily reflect the views of PEPFAR, HRSA, or the United States Government. 

If you have a suggestion for a Digest topic, or would like to contribute information about Internet resources, please contact ibra[at]zadar.net.

Back issues of the Internet Resources Digest for 2011-2014 are archived at www.healthconnect-intl.org/resources.html.

If this document is to be redistributed or posted on another Web site, we request that it be posted in full without alteration, and credit is given to the AIHA as the source of the document. 


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