I have been asked to write up some of the core takeaways from the health care social media presentations I have been giving recently, so I am sharing a version of this narrative on HealthBlawg, in two parts. You may wish to begin with Part I.
Professional responsibility and malpractice liability
The American Medical Association has promulgated a social media policy; so has the Veterans Administration. The two represent very different approaches. The AMA essentially advocates proceeding with caution, and being cognizant of the damage that one’s own social media activities – and one’s colleagues’ – may do to the profession. The VA, on the other hand, is out in front on this issue – just as it was with electronic health records – encouraging the use of social media tools to disseminate information and engage patients and caregivers in productive dialogue likely to improve overall wellbeing and health care outcomes.
Patient care should not be provided in open social media forums, but appropriate disclaimers on blogs, Facebook pages, YouTube channel pages, and the like, should be sufficient protection for providers seeking to use these tools for sharing of general advice and information.