The ART of social networking: how SART member clinics are connecting with patients online

Almost all Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology member clinics are online, and nearly one-third use social media to connect with patients.
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Authors

Kenan Omurtag, M.D., Patricia T. Jimenez, M.D., Valerie Ratts, M.D., Randall Odem, M.D., Amber R. Cooper, M.D., M.S.C.I.

Volume 97, Issue 1 , Pages 88-94

Abstract

Objective:

To study and describe the use of social networking websites among Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) member clinics.

Design:

Cross-sectional study.

Setting:

University-based practice.

Patient(s):

Not applicable.

Intervention(s):

Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Prevalence of social networking websites among SART member clinics and evaluation of content, volume, and location (i.e., mandated state, region) using multivariate regression analysis.

Result(s):

A total of 384 SART-registered clinics and 1,382 social networking posts were evaluated. Of the clinics, 96% had a website and 30% linked to a social networking website. The majority of clinics (89%) with social networking websites were affiliated with nonacademic centers. Social networking posts mostly provided information (31%) and/or advertising (28%), and the remaining offered support (19%) or were irrelevant (17%) to the target audience. Only 5% of posts involved patients requesting information. Clinic volume correlated with the presence of a clinic website and a social networking website.

Conclusion(s):

Almost all SART member clinics have a website. Nearly one-third of these clinics host a social networking website such as Facebook, Twitter, and/or a blog. Large-volume clinics commonly host social networking websites. These sites provide new ways to communicate with patients, but clinics should maintain policies on the incorporation of social networks into practice.

Read the full text at: http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(11)02667-7/fulltext

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