Networking

ODs on Facebook: Building a Supportive Community

 
Jan. 4, 2017

 

Alan Glazier, OD, founder of ODs on Facebook, reflects on five years of building a safe and supportive environment for the exchange of clinical knowledge, professional issues and business strategies.

 

Cultivating Kinder, Gentler Conversation
Providing a Secure Forum

A TONE OF TOLERANCE. A guideline limits hate speech, including racist or sexist comments. Those who violate it are given one warning,  then removed from the group if they persist.

FAST, RELIABLE RESPONSE. A group with only ODs, and others in the eyecare profession, allows for quick answers to questions like which billing code is correct, or what to do when a patient wants to walk with their prescription.

GROWING THE CONVERSATION. A hashtag is added after comments pertaining to popular topics like practice management pearls or compelling clinical photos, so those comments are grouped together and easily searched and added to by interested group members.

EXTENDING OFFLINE. A group that begins on social media can meet offline at industry events, like Vision Expo East and West. A string of comments brought together with a common hashtag can grow into an offline gathering of members and others in person.

 

NEW MEMBERS VETTED. Each new member is vetted to be sure that they truly are an eyecare professional, or otherwise work in the industry.

HIPAA GUIDELINES FOLLOWED. Members are reminded to carefully black out any names associated with clinical information or photos, and to remove identifying information like birthdays or addresses. 

A SEARCHABLE RESOURCE. Groups on Facebook can typically be searched easily with keywords for comments and information posted up to three years back.

 

Alan Glazier, OD, FAAO, is the owner of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care in Rockville, Md. He is the founder of ODs on Facebook.

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