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Hashtags for Health: 5 Ways to Use Social Media for Health Promotion

Air Force provider checks vitals on an airman.

I am a reluctant newcomer to Twitter. Like many in my age bracket, I found it overwhelming and annoying at first glance. However, I’ve grudgingly become a regular user and now I think of tweeting as an additional opportunity to reach our health care teams and beneficiaries.

There’s more to social media than just getting the latest cool science updates from NASA or the operating status of the government. In fact, you can use social media to promote health and meet your team’s mission. Here are a few ideas:

Balancing Efficiency and Efficacy in a Doctor Visit

Mobile apps are the newest tool in a health care provider’s toolbox to encourage patient self-care and health management. Earlier this year, I worked with an active-duty family physician in a primary care clinic on Joint Base Lewis-McChord to pilot a process for prescribing a sleep app during a patient visit. The project included mapping a patient visit workflow, training staff on the mobile app, and developing patient handouts and provider guides.

Mobile Health Resources Available Online for Military Providers

Picture of Tripler Army Medical Center

Tripler Army Medical Center, located on the beautiful Hawaiian island of Oahu, sprawls atop a lush hill like a pretty pink palace. In December 2016, psychologists from the Defense Department’s National Center of Telehealth & Technology (T2) led 84 military clinicians at Tripler through a one-day workshop on how to integrate mobile health technologies (like mobile apps) into their practices.

Feedback from the attendees included:

It's Complicated: Our Relationship with Social Media

For many people, the post-holiday season can be a challenging time of year. For those struggling with depression, loss or loneliness, postings on social media of the perfect gift received or party attended can make these challenges seem even worse. Though social media can help us feel connected or lift our spirits, viewing images of joyful togetherness may increase our feelings of isolation or remind us of what we don’t have.

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