Being an internet marketing company you can come across a lot of social media. Sometimes it can stand out or it can lack substance. Recently, we saw a social media video on how healthcare related businesses maintain professionalism while participating on social networks. It featured a recent interview by Paul Moniz, the Managing Director of Communications and Marketing at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He speaks with Katherine Chretien about unprofessional online conduct. They mention a study where she partnered with the Federation of State Medical Boards in which she found that 71% of state boards reported instances of unprofessional online conduct. Although social networks could be a forum for empathy, it must be done while respecting patient privacy. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of social media for healthcare.
Things to Do with Healthcare Social Media
- Provide simple healthcare tips
- Suggest new healthcare products
- Interact with your community
By providing simple healthcare tips you can stay active on social networks while avoiding unprofessional conduct. Suggesting new healthcare products allows you to be social and keep your social network followers healthy. Interaction with the community will keep people around and encourage more participation from online followers. If a patient leaves feedback, you should always acknowledge it by responding or sharing the feedback. These online activities will let others know you are active online.
Things to Avoid on Social Media
- Avoid providing medical advice
- Never speak about recent patient’s issues
- Do not let it go stagnant
Remaining professional online does not mean you must go silent. Instead, all you have to do is avoid a few honest mistakes. Remember that the information you post on social networks is often seen by many people, so avoid providing medical advice. Someone may take your advice out of context and act without professional assistance. Also, confidentiality between doctor and patient could prohibit this form of interaction. It may be best to never mention anything about a patient’s recent issues and instead focus on your practice. Although it may seem like a headache to stay active on social networks, especially with all the rules and regulations, it does pay off. Keeping your social media updated with information that can help your social network followers and patients will ultimately create a better web presence.
With regulations like HIPAA and other healthcare security for computers, many physicians opt out of this type of media altogether. This is because they fear breaches from social networks and media which could allow criminals to access confidential information. However, by having social media, your practice can stand out from the crowd. The great thing about social media is that it can be accessed from anywhere so you are not confined to use company computers. By focusing on social media from home or your phone, you can create your following online while remaining safe from medical data breaches.
Don’t be part of the 71% of instances reporting unprofessional online conduct. By following the Do’s and Don’ts of healthcare social media, you can avoid becoming a negative statistic while remaining socially active online.