Social media present a challenge for physicians.
Doctors violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act if they post a patient's condition on their private Facebook account. They violate the ethics of physician-patient relationships if they connect with patients on social media platforms like Twitter.
“Doctors have been wary of social media for a very long time,” said Nate Gross, who co-founded Doximity, a professional network that allows physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to find each other and communicate without violating privacy laws.
Launched in 2011, Doximity is an online directory of providers that now claims over a half million members. The listings include the name, resume, education and workplace of provider members.
A primary-care physician, for instance, can use Doximity to find a specialist for a patient. She can send and receive patient medical information through the platform. It also provides latest medical news relevant to her specialty.
To connect on Doximity, providers must first reach out to potential “colleagues” on the platform. Only after the invitation is accepted do providers exchange personal contact information.
Doximity removes the hurdles providers face when they try to reach one another regarding the care of their patients, Gross said. “Doctors are extremely busy,” he said. “Everything we do needs to help a doctor be a doctor, and help them care for patients over the course of their day. It should be saving them time, reducing errors, and bringing them the right patients.”
Because it's free to join Doximity, Gross said its recruiting and referral services drive revenue, which he declined to disclose. Doximity works with 300 hospitals and healthcare organizations to help publicize new employment opportunities to interested providers. This is done in the form of advertisements on a user's feed or unique messaging based on what a user is searching and who they are connected to. About 87% of Doximity users say they are open to new career opportunities.