in HIPAA Headlines by John Brewer

It is one thing to screw up due to ignorance…Stupidity is an entirely different situation.

I’ve written about many idiotic circumstances, most of the time it is people doing dumb things, usually because they don’t know any better or they didn’t really think things through.

Now we have this: the Kansas City Star (a newspaper) reports that a nursing student has been dis-enrolled due to her posting a picture of herself and a…placenta on her Facebook page.

I won’t go into the question of posing for pictures with human organs.

Of course, she is now suing to be let back into the nursing program.

Their attorney was quoted as saying “They’re not giggly teenagers…[they are] career-minded women who are utterly stunned at what’s happened to them.”

Utterly stunned?

This is a major issue these days.

The concept that the whole world can, almost instantly,  see a picture you post still has not set in for most of our population…especially the younger population.

Too many people think that posting a picture to Facebook will “just be seen by my friends”.

Yes, even if you are cognitive and only allow “friends” to see your Facebook posts…it only takes a quick copy/paste by one of those “friends” to make your picture the next internet sensation – oh, and this use of sensation is in a bad way.

“But she didn’t post this picture from a school computer…”  Well, we don’t know this, but that is not really the point here.

Your employees and staff need to understand, they need to be told and acknowledge they understand in writing, that you as their employer have a strict policy of professionalism and that posting anything to do with the office is not acceptable.

I will not argue wrong or right–reinstate her or leave her on the street…the point is this:
Why would you want to even waste time with this kind of bafoonery in your practice?
This would be a huge waste of time and money.
This would bring your practice attention you wouldn’t want.

Prevent this, with CLARITY, by being absolutely clear with your staff what they can and can not do from office computers, and ensure you are clear on what is considered unprofessional or merits termination.

Be ready to say, “there’s a policy for that.”

About John Brewer

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