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Medical Shingles on the Web
By: Doug Bedell
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It's not only newspapers that are being bypassed by the Internet. How about doctors? In this instance, women are turning increasingly to the Web for family health information, according to an online survey  commissioned by Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and conducted by TNS.

"It seems that the convenience, accessibility and low cost of health information online is providing an alternative to going in to the doctor's office for some women," says Monique da Silva, head of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide's North America Healthcare Practice.

A doctor we know worried recently that mandated health insurance is going to bring people flooding to physicians' offices. Well, maybe not with the Web hanging out a medical shingle. We're not for bypassing doctors, but this release provides further insight into how we're becoming a web-centric culture.

Yet "the survey found that half of the women (52%) participating in the survey found it sometimes stressful to keep up with the increasing number of ways to get information (e.g., Facebook, work and personal email, IM). And one in five women (19%) expect the time they spend keeping up online to increase over the next year." 

Getting and staying focused on the Web becomes crucial for health care providers. "Competition for women's share-of-mind when it comes to health information is bound to increase over the next year," da Silva says. "As communicators, we must break through all this clutter to tell compelling, educational and creative stories about health and ways to improve health. With the explosive growth in social media the tendency is to engage women through all channels, but success is based on building a sustained connection with the right women through the right channel to drive sustained behavior change."




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About the Author
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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