Danny Lieberman talks about why taking decisions on using social media for your medical practice should be based on your specialty and your patients’ needs, not what kind of haircut the guys in your class favor.

A flattop is a type of very short hairstyle similar to the crew cut, with the exception that the hair on the top of the head is deliberately styled to stand up (typically no more than an inch) and is cut to be flat, resulting in a haircut that is square in shape. It is most often worn by men and boys, particularly those in the military and law enforcement in the United States.

Growing up in the Washington DC area, I had a lot of classmates whose dads served in the military and flattop hairstyles were the rage in sixth grade. I drove my Mom crazy asking her if I could have one and finally, she said – “Your next haircut, ask the barber if he can do it for you” I went to barber and asked for a flattop. He looked at me and said:  “Son, your hair is too fine for that kind of haircut and if we do it, we’re gonna have to use a lot of gel just to get it to stand up. Your mom might not be too happy“. I said – well let’s try anyhow. Well, not only was my mom not too happy with all the gel,  but the flattop lasted for about a week before the hair grew and ruined the flat shape. Neither the guys, nor the girls in my class were too impressed with my floppy looking flattop.

To say that I was disappointed that week would be understatement.

The operational question from this little story is: How do you make your business strategy?

I got my hair-dressing strategy from they guys in my class – trying to copy someone else.

How do you determine your strategy for using social media and social networking apps?

  • Do you copy what other doctors are doing?
  • Do you read physician blogs on social media
  • Do you ask your doctor colleagues?
  • Do you just take a decision based on your gut feeling?

When you build a business strategy for your practice, you need to think about your specialty and your professional strengths.

It has nothing to do with social media being red-hot right now and feeling that you might be missing out on the party.

Your business strategy is about how to increase the revenue from your medical practice, improving the quality of care you give your patients and reducing your costs.

It’s not about what the social media gurus are saying – its about what the media and apps can do for you.

In sixth grade, I learned that copying other people is not necessarily a good idea.

It can waste your time and money and negatively change the way other people perceive you.

To successfully harness social media and private social networking for healthcare you need a planned process based on your medical specialty, the needs of your patients and assets that your practice can draw upon (partners, nursing staff, adminstrative staff, funding, online stills etc…).

Social media is hot today and it’s a crazy environment with new things happening every day making it easy to get distracted, and waste more time and money.

Social media and private social networking for improving healthcare is here to stay but it’s not enough to copy from someone else. Getting the most from social media for healthcare, requires careful planning and and focus on how private social networking for healthcare can help you take easier and faster clinical decisions, improve your patients’ trust in you and increase customer retention.

If you focus on your specialty, your patients’ needs and on your business objectives for revenue, cost reduction and improving outcomes, you will not go wrong.




Danny Lieberman is the authority in applying threat analysis to Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) in healthcare. He is a sought-after speaker, prolific blogger on healthcare technology, and advisor on software security and privacy compliance issues to healthcare and medical device vendors. He is passionate about Pathcare: the private social network for a doctor and her patients. Danny is a solid-state physicist by training, professional programmer by vocation and avid amateur saxophonist and biker.

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