4. Enforce Your Policies
At Scott & White Healthcare in Temple, TX, the human resources department has accepted that you can't stop employees from using social media, says Keith Minnis, SPHR, Vice President of Human Resources, Recruitment & Talent Management. But HR executives there have discovered they need to prohibit the use of all cell phones in patient care areas to prevent employees from taking pictures and using social media at work, despite Scott & White's strict social media policy.
The organization even has an employee who monitors all social media sites for signs that employees have communicated inappropriately. Those instances are addressed as they occur.
"We don't pull their phones or have them locked away, though," says Minnis. "Much of the communication [among coworkers] going on now though [isn't] happening from posting on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram, but are instead instant messaging that email services provide and text messages. There are all kinds of potential issues there and the very same issues high school principals are dealing with: bullying, kids, gossiping. All of these are great tools to use, and 95% of people use them appropriately. But those 5% are just too huge of a risk."
There's got to be an better way to create a culture that respects patient privacy, but also respects a staff that has a life outside the hospital. Until one is identified, these strict policies will have to do.