Written by: Tim Jones, CEO Health Nuts Media
In early January 2020, Dr. Nicole Baldwin—a pediatrician from Ohio—posted a TikTok video about the benefits of vaccines. The playful fifteen-second video, which features Dr. Baldwin dancing to “The Cupid Shuffle,” lists some of the things vaccines prevent (such as influenza, measles, polio, and tetanus) and ends with text that reads “vaccines don’t cause autism.” Within days, it had amassed more than 1.4 million views—and brought her a lot of unwelcome attention.
She began receiving hateful messages on her social media accounts, her Google and Yelp pages received a deluge of fake negative reviews, and the phones at her practice were inundated with nasty and threatening calls. She was soon a national news story—all because of a short educational video posted on a social media platform.
“The viral nature of the content, the way it’s disseminated, how rapidly it’s disseminated, the fact that popularity and engagement is what drives what goes the farthest and the fastest, this is the way that the social infrastructure is designed,” said Renee DiResta, the technical research manager at Stanford Internet Observatory, a cross-disciplinary program of research, teaching and policy engagement for the study of abuse in current information technologies. “Ironically, Dr. Baldwin is an example of doing it right.”
Directly pushing back against misinformation can backfire—but as healthcare providers, you must continue to engage with people who have questions and even doubts. But what’s the best way to confront the misinformation that is spread on social media? The answer lies in the same tools the online community uses to spread misinformation: educational video.
In fact, a recent survey by a children’s hospital we work with asked:
How do you prefer to receive educational information? Check all that apply.
- Verbal Communication (such as from a doctor or health educator)
- Written communication (such as a handout or a website)
The survey revealed that 37% preferred written communication, 59% preferred verbal communication, and 73% preferred videos.
Which means, video education is a great tool to use to reach your patient populations! One of the great things about our video patient education is that it can be used to connect with patients throughout the care continuum. Videos can be added to emails that get sent to patients, they can be connected to your patient portals, and even tied back to the patient record through your EMR.
The Wellness Network offers a pediatric solution that provides patients and their families with tool that inform, entertain, and activate patients in their care. The core of these resources is our clinically accurate, medially reviewed programming that can be deployed on in-room televisions, waiting room televisions, through tables and online. With these resources you can meet patients where they are with viable information that will help them understand and make informed decisions about their healthcare and treatment plans.
Learn more about our education: