The latest social media gaffe by the healthcare industry comes from Rhode Island, where a physician was fined $500 this month for posting online, information about her experiences at work. The 48-year-old emergency department physician also had her privileges terminated at Westerly Hospital, after the board determined that she had "used her Facebook account inappropriately to communicate a few of her clinical experiences at the hospital's emergency department."
So, control the urge to post any information on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media sites that could indirectly identify your patients. Or, just never post anything about your hospital duties at all in any public venue.
The Rhode Island incident reminds healthcare leaders that organizations must have a social media policy in place, and that management must make it transparent.
Here is a quick checklist of questions to ask regarding a social media policy at your hospital. It is provided by Phyllis Patrick, MBA, FACHE, CHC, and business partner Angel Hoffman, RN, MSN, cofounders of the AP Health Care Compliance Group: