Policy, Payment & Practice -> Training and Education D-AB25 - New Technologies and New Challenges (ID 28) Abstract

D-AB25-03 - Social Media Influence And Procedural Volume Among Us Cardiac Electrophysiologists (ID 1460)


Background: Social media has become a hub of activity for clinical electrophysiologists (EPs) to exchange clinical and scientific material. However the relationship between user clinical activity and social media impact is not well described.
Objective: To assess the relationship between social media influence and clinical activity among US EPs on Twitter.
Methods: We sampled US electrophysiology physicians with identifiable national provider identification numbers (NPI). These were matched to the most recently available CMS provider utilization volume (2017; EP studies, ablations, device implants), by NPI and CPT codes.
Results: 274 unique physicians with NPI numbers from 41 states were identified. They accounted for 31,053 total EP procedures. While all self-identified as EPs, 85% were ABIM certified in EP, 47% practiced in academics, and the duration on Twitter was 3.1 years. On average, these physicians performed 113 EP procedures in CMS in 2017 (range 0-879). The 3 physicians with the most Twitter followers (72,837 total followers or 20% of follower volume) performed 332 total procedures (1% of total, Figure: Panel A). The three physicians with the greatest activity as measured by Twitter status updates accounted for 154,668 updates (32% of all updates), yet had 0 combined CMS procedures in 2017 (Panel B).
Conclusion: Among EPs on Twitter, large social media following and/or posting does not appear to correlate with the frequency of clinical activity as measured by CMS reported procedures. Those few individuals with the highest relative social media activity tend to have lower procedural volume showing the unbalanced influence of those with less apparent clinical impact.