Survey of Individual and Institutional Risk Associated With the Use of Social Media

Manish Garg, MD; David A. Pearson, MD, MS; Michael C. Bond, MD; Michael Runyon, MD; M. Tyson Pillow, MD, Med; Laura Hopson, MD; Robert R. Cooney, MD; Jay Khadpe, MD; Jason T. Nomura, MD; Pholaphat C. Inboriboon, MD, MPH

Disclosures

Western J Emerg Med. 2016;17(3):344-349. 

In This Article

Results

We received 1,314 responses: 772 from residents and 542 from faculty members. At the end of May 2013, the listserv had 841 faculty participants. According to the American Board of Emergency Medicine Report on residency training information for the academic year 2012 to 2013, there were 5,734 residents in accredited US categorical emergency medicine programs. Therefore, the survey response rate was 13% for residents and 44% for faculty. The participants' demographics are summarized in Table 1. The faculty respondents' geographic distribution was as follows: Northeast, 32%; South, 31%; Midwest, 27%; and West, 8%. The residents had a similar geographic distribution: Northeast, 33%; South, 33%; Midwest, 24%; and West, 8% (p=0.58).

Residents reported high-risk-to-professionalism events (HRTPE) resulting from their resident peers or nursing colleagues posting one of the following: identifiable patient information (177/680 [26%]); and a radiograph, clinical picture or other image (352/679 [52%]). Residents reported HRTPE created by residents and NRPs who posted images of intoxicated colleagues (564/674 [84%]), inappropriate photographs (445/675 [66%]), or inappropriate posts (490/672 [73%]). Some residents did not respond to all questions, which resulted in a lower denominator for some questions.

PDs reported HRTPE associated with non-resident providers (NRPs) and residents posting one of the following respectively: identifiable patient information (33/71 [46%] and 30/67 [45%]); and a radiograph, clinical picture or other image (44/70 [63%] and 39/67 [58%]) (Figure 1). PDs reported HRTPE related to posted images of intoxicated colleagues (44/69 [64%] and 38/67 [57%]); inappropriate photographs (45/71 [63%] and 38/67 [57%]); or inappropriate posts (54/71 [76%] and 44/66 [67%]) (Figure 2). PDs also reported being aware of or issuing reprimands or termination at least once a year (21/71 [30%] for NRPs and 15/67 [22%] for residents.

Figure 1.

Reported high-risk-to-professionalism events by residents and program directors (PD) involving the posting of (1) identifiable patient information and (2) radiographs, clinical pictures or other images. Group 1=Resident responses regarding postings by nonresident providers (NRP). Group 2=PD responses regarding postings by NRPs (other faculty/nurses). Group 3=PD responses regarding postings by residents.

Figure 2.

Reported high-risk-to-professionalism events by residents and program directors (PD) involving the posting of (1) images of intoxicated colleagues, (2) inappropriate photographs, or (3) inappropriate posts.
NRP, non-resident providers

Residents were more likely to post photos of other residents or their nursing colleagues in an intoxicated state than were NRPs (p=0.0004). NRPs were more likely to post inappropriate content (p=0.04) and identifiable patient information (p=0.0004) than were residents. There was no difference for posting of inappropriate photographs (p=0.28) or radiographs, clinical pictures or other images (p=0.12) (Table 2).

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