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Are you new to Twitter? If so, hashtags are a great way to maximize your time spent on the social network. By using hashtags, you can quickly connect with other healthcare providers, hear about the latest gadgets & technologies, and connect with patients, too.
What is a hashtag?
To create a hashtag in your Tweets, simply put a # sign on the front of the word. Doing this automatically turns the word into a link that groups all the Tweets using that hashtag together. Thus, when you click on the link, you can see all the Tweets that have used that hashtag. Note: Do not overuse hashtags in a tweet as it makes them look clunky. Instead, end or begin your tweets with 1 or 2 relevant hashtags.
10 healthcare hashtags to check-out
With over 4,400 hashtags just for health, how do you know which ones to follow? To get you started, here are 10 active hashtags about current healthcare topics and trends with a few popular Tweet chats you may want to check out, too.
- #hcp – A general hashtag often used to signify a tweet is intended for healthcare providers.
- #patientchat – Patient Chat is a bi-weekly tweet chat hosted by Intake.Me. While #patientchat is geared towards empowered patient topics, it is a good hashtag to follow if you want to hear the patients’ perspective and have meaningful discussion about patient-doctor communication.
- #s4pm – Twice-monthly discussions, 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month at 3pm ET attended by patients and providers (s4pm stands for Stands for Society for Participatory Medicine) on participatory medicine topics. ePatients, participatory medicine, participatory diagnosis, healthcare policy, health data access, price/cost visibility and transparency, and any other topic that touches on participatory medicine.
- #hcldr – A weekly tweet chat focused on leadership in healthcare. (Held every Tuesday from 8:30-9:00 PM EST)
- #healthcosts – A general, catch-all hashtag for tweets about the economics of the industry. Example of a recent tweet, “Find out why more employers are moving to #CDHPs here #healthcosts http://t.co/jBVCbg6XVA“
- #aca – Tweets about the Affordable Care Act.
- #patient & #epatient – The #epatient hashtag is a popular hashtag collecting tweets from and for empowered patients (epatients). The trend of patient empowerment focus on topics like patient activation, compliance and taking an active role in one’s own healthcare.
- #digitalhealth & #healthIT – HealthIT stands for Health Information Technology and the hashtag #HealthIT is used to discuss challenges and opportunities with implementing information technology in healthcare environments. While there is some cross-over between the #healthIT and #digitalhealth hashtags, the latter (#digitalhealth) tends to be used for more consumer-facing technologies while #healthIT is used for more legacy and large-scale systems like EHRs (see next hashtag).
- #EHR – A broadly used hashtag for Electronic Health Records but also includes discussion about Meaningful Use and its challenges, opportunities and related deadlines.
- #publichealth – This hashtag is used for prevention, risk and wellness topics for communities and the public at large but also crosses over into some policy discussions.
Advanced Tip: Too busy to attend a Tweet chat at the scheduled time? You can catch-up on past discussions using a website call Symplur, which provides transcripts of past health Tweetchats. For example, see the May 30th #patientchat transcript here.
What are your favorite hashtags and why? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.
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