Does Your Hospital Have Social Media Guidelines for Employees in Place?

July 11, 2013
157 Views

In this digital age, social media is everywhere. Everyone has a voice. From the intern to the CEO, everyone can state an opinion and communicate with the world.

In this digital age, social media is everywhere. Everyone has a voice. From the intern to the CEO, everyone can state an opinion and communicate with the world.

healthcare social media policyFor a business – especially a hospital with strict privacy laws in place – setting social media guidelines for the hospital staff keeps employees focused on their jobs and prevents distractions.

Here are few best practices you may want to include when crafting your policy:

  • Social media policies should be enforced not just on hospital computers, but on handheld devices during hospital work hours. You don’t want hospital employees being distracted tweeting when they are supposed to be taking care of a patient. Employees should use social media for personal reasons only during scheduled breaks and meals. It also should take place away from areas where employees may run into patients or the general public.
  • Protected health information or identifiable patient information must not be posted.
  • This is obvious, but needs to be reinforced in writing: Obscene language should not be tolerated from anyone who is an employee of the hospital. This can easily give the impression that it came directly from the hospital.
  • Only the marketing department should be able to create social media pages and sites. Approval is necessary when anyone outside that department uses logos, videos or photos that involve the hospital.

Social media is a great new medium for communication. It can also become a public relations nightmare quickly. That’s why it is important to clearly define a strategy and guidelines that are appropriate for your medical facility.