Join the Social Media Conversation

By: Jackie Ryan

New AAOS primer covers the basics; provides tips, tools, and techniques

Jackie Ryan

Blogs, social networking websites, video sharing, web content communities—all of these and more are considered “social media.” During the past decade, social media have become an integral part of American life—and not just for teenagers and young adults.

Although many physicians keep up with technology trends, few orthopaedic practices are actually using social media to improve patient communications or boost their bottom line. Those that do use social media understand the benefits as more than simply a way to share general health information. Social media can help orthopaedic surgeons communicate with their patients one-on-one, market their practices, and improve communications with colleagues.

To the neophyte, social media may seem confusing and overwhelming. Where to begin? What are the benefits? What are the problems that should be avoided? To help AAOS members understand and employ the myriad social media tools available, the AAOS Practice Management Committee has developed a new primer, Social Media in Health Care.

Editor Adam D. Soyer, DO, has brought together a group of experts, each of whom has an interesting and unique perspective on using social media in health care.“We are in the midst of a healthcare revolution,” says Dr. Soyer. “Understanding the basics about this powerful, pervasive technology will help orthopaedic practices develop and maintain a competitive edge in 21st century medicine.”

All the basics—in 32 pages
This primer identifies the tools and techniques orthopaedic surgeons will need to implement social media as part of their practices. Each of the eight chapters highlights a specific area of social media—from physician participation in social media and the capabilities and uses of mobile technologies to using social media for marketing and managing the physician’s online reputation. One extensive chapter is dedicated to establishing a digital presence and the steps to follow when getting started in social media.

“By implementing social media in our practices, we can conveniently communicate with our patients, market our practices, and share information with colleagues. Social media provide the platform for collaboration with our patients by creating an improved healthcare delivery system that emphasizes patient accountability, cost containment, and quality of care,” says Dr. Soyer.

Both novices and physicians who already use social media in their practices will benefit from the tips included in this primer. A limited number of print copies of Social Media in Health Care: A Primer for Orthopaedic Surgeons are available at the Practice Management kiosk in the AAOS Resource Center, Moscone West lobby. The primer is also available online and can be downloaded for free from the AAOS Practice Management Center at

Practice management primers are a benefit of your AAOS membership; this is the fifth in the series. Past titles focus on Electronic Medical Records Implementation, Picture Archive and Communication Systems, and Hospital Employment.

Jackie Ryan is the manager of the AAOS practice management group. She can be reached at 847-384-4334 or