in HIPAA Headlines by John Brewer

One of the great dangers of social media is the megaphone-effect.

As I’ve mentioned before, when you have your “friends” on Facebook or you “private message” a friend on any social media, you run the risk of not just “whispering to a friend”, but standing on a street corner with a megaphone.

The latest example of somebody being an idiot on social media happened in Georgia just after the presidential election.

This person was obviously not happy with the outcome.

This person made some inappropriate remarks on Facebook.

Her remarks went viral.

It just happens that this person works at a medical practice.  Soon there were Facebook posts asking if minorities were safe going to this medical practice.

This should send chills up your spine.

This person was fired.  But don’t be surprised if she sues for wrongful termination.

Why?  I’m willing to be this medical practice does not have an office policy on the use of social media.

Does your office have an office policy on the use of social media?  Why no?

Office policies are not only to give structure as to how the office operates, but they also set limits, rules, expectations as to how the office staff (and doctor) act.

“Yes, but she made this post on her private account from home…”

So?  Your office policy should include the clarity that any actions detrimental to the image of the practice are grounds for termination.

Remember, your practice is a business…make sure you run it like one.

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