Privacy. What was once the norm is now a luxury. Today, is the age of Facebook and Fitbits. Tracking and tweeting. But yet, when it comes to healthcare, patients still want privacy – but on their own terms.
Yes, patients post to social media to share their miles walked. Their cancer remissions. Their medical triumphs. But when it comes to their personal data, patients are very selective over who gets to see what. According to CEB Iconoculture research, when patients were polled on what terms they associate with healthcare, privacy ranked number one:
Last year alone, two-thirds of consumers shared personal health data via wearable devices, apps or websites. So why is this different? Patients have the ultimate control over their own personal data. With recent discrepancies in regulations of other people having access to patient portals, makes consumers uncomfortable with the lack of control over their personal data.
What should your healthcare brand do?
- Make privacy a priority with patients. Let them know upfront what parties will have access to their data, when consulting with other physicians, hospitals, etc.
- Be transparent with medical notes. No one wants a doctor that isn’t in their court. Some are even turning to OpenNotes, a system that allows patients access to their doctor’s medical notes, to increase transparency and garner trust.
- Not all patients are created equal. Just because some demographics or generations have similar media habits and a social media presence, doesn’t mean all of these consumers do. Acknowledge the differences among patients’ privacy needs to better patient relationships and referrals.
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