Social media is one of the main ways people stay connected and communicate with each other. As a doctor, your reputation is incredibly important. People are looking to you to make wise decisions and many people are probably watching what you’re doing on your social pages. Because others in your practice are probably on social media too, it’s important to establish guidelines to ensure your business is protected and your employees are acting appropriately online.
Employees who use social media to communicate about your organization should be clear that they’re speaking for themselves and not in any way on behalf of the company. For example, if they’re asked medical advice on social, make sure they know to speak for themselves in this matter and not on the company’s behalf.
Confidentiality is key. Let employees know that at no time should they discuss any patient information.
Employees should use their best judgment in determining whether to post photographs of other individuals (including coworkers) on social media. Usually, it’s recommended they ask for permission. Employees should also be mindful of the photos they post of themselves. Most importantly, at no time should they ever post a photo of a patient.
Ask that employees use discretion and good judgment regarding inviting colleagues, and responding to invitations from colleagues, to join social networks or become “friends,” as well as when making recommendations or referrals to others about colleagues. While feelings of inclusion can have positive effects on working relationships, the corollary feelings of exclusion can be painful and counterproductive. Determine weather or not your practice feels comfortable with employees connecting with patients online. Once you’ve decided, make this rule clear and known.
Keep in mind, and make sure others in your practice know, that as medical professionals, people are watching you. One slip up on social media could cause some major issues for your practice. Always encourage employees to use their best judgement and make the social media guidelines clear.