Managing an online presence for a medical organization can be a tricky thing to master. When you’re a resource to your patients, it is extremely important not to violate any HIPAA guidelines or your patient’s privacy. Since oversharing has almost become second nature on social media, here are a few tips to remember while navigating the murky waters:
- Never post Protected Health Information, or PHI online. This includes any information, “related to the past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual; the provision of health care to an individual; or the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to an individual,” according to the HIPAA Journal. This rule applies to replying to online comments, inbox messages or other publicly posted messages.
- Know the HIPPA guidelines. Make sure your employees are aware of the repercussions for violating HIPAA guidelines on their personal accounts. Sharing images, video, or personal information pertaining to patients can cost healthcare workers their job. While some employees might not think posting a compromising Snapchat will cause any damage, it can have serious consequences!
- Create internal policies. Ensure that everything published on social media is HIPAA compliant. Avoid any public scandals by running all content intended to be posted online by a legal or compliance department if these resources are available to you.
- Move conversations containing sensitive information offline. When patients try to discuss their personal medical situations with your organization, explain to them HIPAA’s restrictions and suggest they reach out through an online portal or to your office or doctor directly for further support.
Using these tips, we hope that your medical organization can use social media as a tool to attract and increase patients, as a resource for valuable health information, and generate awareness about your firm. To learn more and read further about managing social media accounts, visit our blog here!