Social Media Compliance in Health Care.pdf

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• Hiring concerns. Any employee who has the
power to make hiring decisions should be
trained to not use information from social media
sites to discriminate against anyone based on
legally protected factors.

plate that can be altered to accommodate the structure and needs of the company. One sample policy
can be found at the end of this chapter at ¶ 53,175.
Key messages: Some of the most common key
messages in these social media policies are:

Step Two: Collaboratively Draft and Approve the

• be authentic and transparent,


• use good judgment,

Creating the policy should be an organizationwide effort to adapt to the realities of today’s social
marketplace. In developing the content, partner with
and seek approval from key internal colleagues including Compliance and Privacy, Risk Management,
Legal, Information Technology (IT), Human Resources (HR), and Marketing and Communications.
The company policy should cover the following areas:
• a statement on the purpose of social media use,
• general information on social media including
common definitions,
• guidelines for employee conduct on social media sites,
• management responsibilities including how social media activity is monitored by your organization, and
• enforcement options/violations.
Tips for creating the social media policy:
• The policy should not be full of legalese. Most
employees don’t speak that language.
• The policy should be easy to read, easy to understand and easy to remember.
• Provide specific examples and be clear on what
the policy covers. Consider breaking down the
policy into categories, subgroups or types of
• Include which social media sites are covered
and update this list periodically (e.g., Facebook,
LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram,
Review sample policies: Don’t recreate the
wheel. Search through sample policies to find a tem-

• respect your audience,
• protect confidential information,
• respect copyrights,
• obey terms of service on specific platforms.
Other resources to consider:
• Mayo Clinic - Social Media Guidelines Mayo’s guidelines are
limited to ten (10) clear statements. Mayo Clinic
also has its own Social Network with resources
including a comprehensive list of health-related
organizations that actively use social media
• Sutter Health - Social Media Tip Sheet &
Video Sutter Health’s Social
Media Tip Sheet and Video are quick references
that remind employees of the social media policy principles. The one-page tip sheet encourages employees to protect patients, respect
sensitive information, and engage with colleagues. The social media video is a 90-second
overview of Sutter Health’s social media
• Vanderbilt University Medical Center - Social
Media Toolkit
root/vumc.php?site=socialmediatoolkit. Vanderbilt has an online toolkit with links to their
social media policy, participation guidelines,
and best practices. Also, there are resources for
physicians to manage their online reputation
and descriptions of popular platforms.
• Social
Chris Boudreaux, author of The Social Media

(Footnote Continued)

10 Mayo
Clinic Social