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4 Social Media Policy Fundamentals to Minimize Hospital Risk

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media, August 12, 2013

2. Preserve Productivity
Another major concern for healthcare employers is the impact social media can have on employee productivity. At University Health Systems, the IT department decided to run an experiment to determine how often employees were using work computers for non-work purposes. This was in the early 2000s, according to Leni Kirkman, vice president of strategic communications and patient relations at University Health Systems, a large academic medical center in San Antonio, TX.  

At one radiology station, the IT department monitored a single computer's Internet browsing history for one day and printed out every webpage employees visited within a 24-hour period.  

At the next directors meeting, the CIO rolled in a cart stacked with of reams of paper, physical proof that employees were using the computer for personal Internet browsing. It was that day University Health Systems made the decision to block from its networks all web sites unrelated to work.

Social media hadn't hit yet, but when it did, Kirkman says it didn't matter because employees already worked under the expectation that work computers were restricted.

Kiman and others I spoke with say banning social media on work computers has become a moot point because smartphones can operate on Wi-Fi networks that can reach beyond the corporate network. Now many managers on UHS hospital floors have taken the next step, directing that phones be stowed away during patient care time.

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1 comments on "4 Social Media Policy Fundamentals"


Shane Perry (8/12/2013 at 2:48 PM)
Interesting article albeit overtly conservative in its assessments. Isn't it supposed to be Leni "Kirkman" not "Kiman". My comments are my own view and do not necessarily reflect that of my employer.