Last week we made the important distinction between Social Networking and Collaborative Networking in an attempt to assist you in deciphering which option is better for your organization. This week I wanted to share an example of a community using both.
The general rule of thumb for anyone seeking a diagnosis for any condition is to always seek a second opinion. Well, now you can seek hundreds of opinions! A number of ‘diagnostic’ medical sites have cropped up across the web, giving patients the opportunity to describe their symptoms to a network of medical professionals and seek diagnosis (This application would be considered social networking as it benefits the individual – see last post).
One such site “Doctors Lounge” not only provides visitors the opportunity to seek diagnosis from a large network of doctors, it also provides the health care professionals a space to collaborate on articles, projects and even patient care issues (This is collaborative networking – see last post).
The medical community seems to be leading the charge integrating Social and Collaborative networking into their practices. This is an encouraging thought – I don’t know about you but if my doctor was having trouble with a diagnosis or treatment of mine I feel much more secure knowing that he/she has a network to collaborate with on solving this problem. A diagnosis agreed upon by 100 doctors is by far more reassuring than one prescribed by a single physician.
The question is of course whether your doctor participates in these collaboratives? It is likely that membership in medical networks will become a qualifier for selecting a family physician and perhaps even a licensing requirement………………………… I know I will be asking mine.