Medical practices dip their toes into social media with trepidation. With good, reason, too. HIPPA regulations and professional ethics preclude you from tweeting with abandon like the Kardashians. Still, social media is a valuable tool for providing healthcare information and building your practice. Use it, but just be aware of these simple guidelines.
- Follow the standards of patient privacy.
- Don’t post photos of patients or any personally identifiable information. You may want to congratulate your latest cataract patient for winning an archery contest. But don’t.
- The Hillary Rule. You cannot wipe the hard drive. Once it’s out on the Internet, there are no mulligans.
- Think before you tweet. Ask yourself if your post meets the same standards of professional conduct you would use in the office.
- Separate your personal and professional social media accounts, and set your privacy settings to further prevents the two from crossing.
- Do not follow or add patients on social media. This may give the appearance of impinging on your objectivity.
See the American Medical Associations’ complete social media opinion for additional information.