26 Jul Protecting Your Practice
Social media can be a powerful tool in your toolbelt when marketing your practice and engaging with patients. There’s no faster way to share news about your office and maybe have a little fun too.
There are dangers, though. Seemingly innocuous posts can inadvertently disclose protected health information (PHI) or confidential business knowledge.
When it comes to staff personal social media use, better safe than sorry. An article from Medical Economics takes a look at some ways to protect your patients, your employees, and your practice from online pitfalls:
Personal use of smartphones – Consider limiting staff use of personal phones to break times only, with set guidelines. Personal social media accounts should be clearly non-representative of the office, practice, or organization, and patient or practice-related information should never be posted on a personal account.
Connecting with patients – Social media relationships between employees and patients can be a tricky situation to navigate. A robust social media policy for your practice emphasizing that staff should never use a social media account to give medical advice or lab results, schedule appointments, or conduct any other practice-related communication should always be in place. These kinds of patient communications should be limited to an official channel, such as a secure patient portal.
Off the clock – Even when outside the office, staff need to be mindful of privacy, whether of patients, their coworkers, or their employers. It’s best to avoid posting pictures taken in the office on personal accounts, to avoid the impression that the individual is representing the practice.
While establishing standards for safe social media practices may seem uncomfortable or awkward, in the long run, it’s the best course of action for everyone in your practice.