There are many good reasons why blogging is good for doctors and medical centres. Here are seven.
1. Health promotion is a requirement of the RACGP accreditation.
Doctors are well placed to provide health information. They are often the primary entry point for people seeking assistance. The Royal Australian College of General Practice standards state:
By providing information in documents such as brochures and fact sheets and on reputable websites, including your own, you will be encouraging patients to select information on health issues that may affect or interest them.
Blogging, or article writing, is a way to teach people about basic facts and dispel any rumours or falsehoods.
For example, allergic rhinitis is often confused by patients for a heavy cold or flu. As a result, antibiotic medications may be requested, which would be ineffectual. A well-crafted article can explain to your patients how to tell the difference.
Health promotion can include items about prevention and protection, risk populations, as well as factors and behaviours that can cause illness or injury.
2. You’re often the entry point to the system.
Doctors are well placed to provide health information. They are often the primary entry point for people seeking assistance. You can set the referral pathways for related medical and specialist care.
3. Your blog articles build trust.
There are different types of anxieties. Social, public speaking, driving to name a few. Health anxiety is estimated to affect 1.5 million Australians.
Anxiety and avoidance
What used to be labelled ‘hypochondria’ doesn’t only result in very frequent visits to the doctor. It can also impact people ‘s willingness to seek any medical treatment at all. People may be scared that something is very wrong with them and actively avoid seeing a doctor or seeking medical attention.
An online blog article can give people with health anxiety the information they need. If they understand a process and what a particular procedure may involve, it can allay their fears or help them manage their fear of the unknown.
For example, Jennifer’s mother died rom breast cancer when she was young. Jennifer is now extremely reluctant to visit doctors. Hospitals and medical centres cause distress and panic attacks. Jennifer believes getting breast cancer herself is imminent.
In the event that the health anxiety is around a real condition, a blog article gives an opportunity to share how a condition is managed today.
Jennifer doesn’t have breast cancer now, but failing to get regular checks puts at her risk.
You can also share statistics around survival rates, which tend to improve in time. With early intervention, for example, breast cancer survival rates are now over 90%.
Patients can learn how early treatment is often the best course of action.
There are also genetic tests which may indicate whether she is at higher risk at all.
Your healthy blog habit can help build trust. Armed with practical information, Jennifer can make big steps to reducing her health anxiety.
4. Blog are available after hours.
General health and medical information is available to people at home, at any time, and away from your medical centre. With advances in web technology like HTML 5 and semantic elements, quality WordPress blogs will be mobile friendly as well as accessible to visually impaired people.
5. Blogs humanise your clinic.
Blog articles shows the human dimension to your clinic, which may otherwise be sterile and efficient. You may be able to use humour or anecdotes that are relatable.
Doctors are people, too.
For example, Dr David has a professional bio and a not-so-professional-bio on his musings of a paediatric oncologist blog.
6. Blogging is good for Google
Blog posts and frequently updated content is good for your website search engine rankings.
You knew that already, right.
7. Blogs make good promotion for medical centres.
Health articles can mention your facilities and aspects of your medical centre such as parking, waiting times, waiting rooms, and special areas of expertise. These can be attractive to new patients.
We don’t need to talk about medicine all the time to attract new patients. Convenience and friendliness are considerations as well.
Examples of Good Doctor Blogs in Australia
Doctors of South Melbourne say they break the mould of boring medical blogs. They sure do with their witty and straight to the point posts including smelly vaginas, low testosterone, and chlamydia treatment.
Doctors for Nutrition shares the expertise of doctors, including Sam Gartland, who believe nutrition can have transformative effects on personal health conditions, such as multiple sclerosis.
The Wholesome Doctor is a fantastic example of down-to-earth advice focused on prevention.