Good digital citizenship is important when it comes to the use of the web and social media for healthcare. This is not only true for medical professionals but also for patients, community health workers, entrepreneurs, event organisers, students and other stakeholders engaging online. hcsm is an acronym which is recognised in over 30 countries globally for Healthcare Communications and Social Media and represents the ethical and technical use of social media platforms to share information, disseminate research, debate health care policy, promote healthy behaviours, engage with the public as well as educate and interact with patients, caregivers, students and colleagues. These communities include Europe (#hcsmEU), Europe France (#hcsmEUFR) and the global thread (#hcsm). The social web is also a place where global emerging technologies can be promoted and followed in real-time by acquiring good digital skills which include how to use hashtags for healthcare appropriately, choosing the best influencers to follow within a field of practice or platforms to join. Understanding effective online etiquette in healthcare can also help users to maintain a good digital footprint across the web.
hcsmSA offers various ongoing CPD Accredited Courses, Individualised one-on-one or group training as well as Social Media Influencer Programmes at medical events. As technology begins to model our future health systems, digital literacy will be fundamental to ensuring that the end users participate meaningfully and ethically. CPD Accreditation is offered through the South African Medical Association (SAMA) and Medical Practice Consulting (MP Consulting). Healthcare Communications and Social Media South Africa also established the first Twitter chat to discuss Sustainable Health Development in South Africa using the hashtag #hcsmSA.