Ways to Combat Online Medical Research
Ways to combat online medical research by health care professionals and veterinarians include: blogging answers to most common client questions; directing clients to credible sources; establishing telehealth consultations; empathetic expert advice; social media forums.
BLOGGING ANSWERS TO MOST COMMON CLIENT QUESTIONS
- Veterinaries should blog to educate clients by answering common questions of pet owners. Such content should be posted on social media to increase the reach of their blog.
- The Animal Emergency and referral center of Minnesota is an example of a regular blog that provides information on common pet issues that their owners may face.
- AAHA lists popular pet owner questions that veterinaries can build upon this information when developing their blog.
DIRECTING CLIENTS TO CREDIBLE SOURCES
- Health care professionals should laud clients for seeking more medical information. However, clients may not receive credible or complete information given their lack of medical expertise.
- As such, health care professionals should step in and recommend credible sources of medical information that can provide insight into medical concerns.
- Importantly, veterinaries should teach their clients on how to avoid business-sponsored websites or anecdotal information.
- The Billings Animal Family Hospital recommends that clients can use the Pet First Aid App from the American Red Cross for first aid information for their pet.
- In this regard, veterinaries should encourage their clients to seek additional information while assuring them that it will not hurt their current relationship.
TELEHEALTH: PHONE AND EMAIL CONSULTATIONS
- Veterinaries should develop their own telehealth services that involves providing veterinary assistance over online or phone channels. Such assistance can bridge the information gap that Google serves.
- Veterinaries can engage clients over phone and email consultations to provide pet owners with answers to pertinent questions on the health of their pet.
EMPATHETIC EXPERT ADVICE
- When pet owners visit veterinaries with ludicrous demands on what their pet needs after undertaking online research, should respond with empathy rather than frustration.
- Veterinaries should tackle each matter with factual information while handling clients with the utmost respect and care.
SOCIAL MEDIA FORUMS
- Veterinaries can set up social media forums for constant engagement with their clients. As such, the veterinary can provide instant insight on medical concerns.
- Social media forums will result in sharing of experiences among pet owners that educates members on the social media forum despite not having similar afflictions. Optionally, veterinaries can poll community members building their engagement and sense of community.
- Clients of veterinaries also received behind the scenes' footage of surgeries from social media as well as information on pets going home. Such success stories inspire confidence of pet owners to reach out to veterinaries for information.
In order to identify ways health care professionals and veterinarians have combated online medical research, your research team engaged in intensive research across news sources and corporate websites such as AAHA. Particularly, our focus was on strategies veterinaries used to combat client online medical research. Importantly, we provided examples of the strategies identified in practice.