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The dentist called Dr. Facebook

Partners In Prevention 1A survey about how Americans prefer to access their healthcare providers shows a gap between what the community wants and what the healthcare providers offer.

Most patients want digital access to healthcare advice,says this survey:

We communicate with our friends, our families and our coworkers via email and Facebook, and apparently, most Americans also wish that they could keep in touch with their health care providers this way. A national survey of 2,252 pharmacy customers conducted by Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health highlights the gap between what patients want from their health care providers in terms of communication and engagement, and what they’re actually getting.

What does this clear preference mean to a hands-on profession like dentistry? Here is my take:

  • develop a social media presence, and keep it current and relevant to the patient’s concerns not the dental team’s concerns
  • facilitate digital risk assessment by the patient — not only do they want to know where their oral health is going, they want to complete their risk assessment before they go to the dentist.

In my community of 50,000 in Ontario, few of the dental practices have a website, and none have a good social media conversation going. It seems that the dentist expects the patient will simply turn up without any questions or curiosities, or much helpful information at all.

Bad strategy. Many of my neighbors use social media to hunt for appropriate services, to get second opinions or pass along suggestions. Indeed, the other day when on the train home, most everyone was past age 50 and was working their tablet on the train’s WiFi.

Dr. Facebook would be most visible and accessible to this crowd, and no doubt, busier for it.

For more information, please visit:

By Ross Perry
SOURCED: Partners In Prevention –

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