Establishing a social media presence is quite important for medical practitioners these days. People are becoming increasingly active on social media sites and not utilizing the opportunity it presents to promote your medical practice can see you losing out to your competitors. In addition, you also get to expand your professional network and to educate your patients and the general population on topics related to your niche. However, there are certain things that you have to be wary of when using social media; these things, if ignored, can land you in quite some trouble.
What You Have to be Aware of When Posting on Social Media Sites
- HIPAA violations: Protecting your patients and your practice from HIPAA violations is absolutely essential. If your practice has a page on social media and if your staff have privileges to post on the page, ensure that you first set up a HIPAA policy and that all of your staff are trained in its execution. It is very vital that your staff not talk about your patients or any other office matter on their personal accounts on various social media platforms.
- Professional vs personal accounts: It is better to have two different social media accounts (on all of the platforms that you use): one for your personal activities and the other for your professional activities. Ensure that you do not put anything personal on the “professional account.”
- Offering medical advice: It is alright, and even required, to educate people on the various aspects related to your field of practice. However, it is not advisable to give medical advice on social to someone having a specific problem. You may ask them to schedule an appointment to visit you instead.
One other thing that doctors need to be aware of is that you should never acknowledge that somebody is your patient on online platforms. It can lead to violation of HIPAA provisions.