In their introduction the authors clearly state their belief and intent: that social media will fundamentally change the way health care practitioners and patients interact. Not only do healthcare practitioners have to establish a ‘telepresence’ but they also have a responsibility to educate patients to effectively use Health 2.0 tools in managing their health and health care.
As radical as that agenda may sound there is plenty of evidence that this is happening here in the UK and there is a case to be made for the furthering of digital literacy among healthcare staff. This book has plenty of pointers and covers a wide range of ‘Social Media’ considerations for those who may not be familiar with panoply of platforms and their potential healthcare uses. The chapters follow a set pattern of stating chapter learning objectives, listing terms and providing discussion points and providing quite detailed exercises for readers to embed learning. There are informative statistics and evidence to satisfy clinicians need for quantitative data but there are a few issues for the UK based reader as it was written for a US market. Many of the concerns around healthcare ‘consumers’ just did n’t ring true and unfortunately some of the information would be irrelevant, even if it is interesting, to a British nurse. If you were fairly new to social media this book would n’t necessarily be that helpful. There is also the paradox of reading in a book a subject that firmly belongs in the dynamic fast paced digital world – it is already out of date!
My extended review from that which appeared in the Nursing Standard.