In addition to social media management and corporate training, red balloon specializes in training health care professionals to avoid HIPPA violations in their personal use of social media. The Institute for Health found, that only 1/3 of health care organizations have documented social media guidelines. Compared to the fact that so many adults are using social media, 3/4 of adult internet users alone, have a Facebook account. This includes your doctors, and your nurses, and your administrative staff. This means it’s imperative that there are guidelines in place when it comes to social media and healthcare professionals.
Guidelines for Social Media and Healthcare Professionals
You want to make sure guidelines are getting reviewed on a regular basis. Social media changes quickly and it can change daily. Your guidelines need to keep up with how people are using social media and new platforms. For example, when live streaming started, it added a new dimension to that training. In addition to having documented guidelines, it’s important to offer that training in an interactive atmosphere. During new hire orientation and offering refreshers, really helps that information to stick and for them to retain it.
Anonymity Online Doesn’t Exist
We recommend never posting anonymously because there is no such thing as anonymity online. It’s very easy to find out who you are and if you can’t stand by it, don’t post it. Something about posting anonymously emboldens us to say and do things we normally wouldn’t, so just don’t do it. Another thing we always advise against is, talking about any individual patient. HIPAA guidelines cannot possibly define every piece of protected health information that could be used to identify a patient. Your best bet, is to just stay away from posting about any individual patient.
Mobile Device Guidelines in Patient Areas
Make sure that you address using mobile devices in patient areas and valid consent. This includes; not using your mobile phone to take pictures, or to text, or to take videos around your patients, and never think that an innocent selfie with a patient is acceptable. Verbal consent is not valid consent. The only form of valid consent for developing media with patients, would be written consent, in an agreement with administration. Selfies might be a totally normal fun part of day-to-day life for most people, but they can be dangerous for healthcare professionals.
If you have questions about helping your health care staff avoid HIPAA and NLRA violations in social media, learn more about social media in healthcare or check out our Youtube channel for more videos.