Would you friend your doctor?


Social media is everywhere. And many people use Twitter or Facebook or Instagram to navigate entire portions of their lives.

But what about health care? Would you accept (or prompt) a friend request from your doctor, dentist or medical center? If you're a health professional: How do you navigate social media?

Liz Baier's dentist, in Rochester, operates much of his business through social media. Liz reports:

"To be honest, there's a set of patients that prefer to contact you about appointments and things just through Facebook, rather than call, rather than e-mail," [dentist Kevin] Kopper said.

The couple's practice has a business page, kind of like an ad, with office hours, and general business information. But most of the real interaction — the private messages, the liking, the scheduling — all that happens from their personal accounts.

Kopper says because they're a private practice, those online conversations are extensions of the small talk that happens inside the office. He emphasizes that it's all small talk — and nothing that reveals private patient information.

"I think people like the personal contact. And we're a small practice. It's just my wife and I, and one employee. And you could say there's private things you should keep private," Kopper said. "But honestly, here, when we're working, we generally talk about our lives anyway, so we don't really have anything to hide that way. So I guess it's okay."

Today's question: Is there a place for social media in health care?

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