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4 Reasons to Ban Social Media in Your Hospital

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media, August 5, 2013

Of course, it's too late for that now. But it may not be too late for your hospital or health system to forbid the use of social media. In fact, you should consider blocking Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, because there's no better way to let the world know that

  • You don't trust your employees
  • You don't care about patient experience
  • You don't promote knowledge and information sharing
  • You aren't willing to train employees on the right way to use social media

1. You don't trust your employees

At the University of Maryland Medical System, largely for security concerns and bandwidth issues, the IT department decided to ban social media networks system-wide in 2005, according to Ed Bennett, the health system's director of web and communications technology. In 2011, UMMC lifted its workplace ban, but during those six years, they learned some interesting insights into how the earlier decision impacted its employees and its patients.  

When UMMC surveyed patients about its ban on social media, here's one response that stood out: "You trust your staff with my life, but you think they can't handle Facebook?"  

"We have a culture of respect at UMMC, and we view our workers as professionals who we trust our patients' lives with, so we couldn't be sending the message that we don't trust them on social media," says Bennett.

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3 comments on "4 Reasons to Ban Social Media in Your Hospital"


Ed (8/7/2013 at 3:30 PM)
It only took them six years!!!! Such progressive organizations.

Kathi Browne (8/6/2013 at 3:03 PM)
These are excellent reasons to ban social sites and illustrated brilliantly by hospitals that implemented them, like um... who were they now?, uh... their names aren't coming to me now... I guess reason #5 might be: You want to slip under the radar and remain relatively unknown.

Christina Thielst (8/5/2013 at 4:04 PM)
These are great reasons to ban social media in your hospital. Unfortunately, if this environment exists, it probably isn't a good place for me to work or to go for healthcare services.