Malpractice Case: Why You Need Social Media Policies to Protect Your Practice

Kimberly Danebrock, JD, RN, CPPS

Disclosures

September 07, 2020

Recent studies show that the average internet user spends 1.72 hours per day on social media sites, which represents about 28% of all online activity. With that much time being devoted to social media, it's important for every large group practice to have a smart social media policy in place.

There are many uses for social media in one's practice, from notifying patients that flu shots are available to sharing health-focused articles. Having well-educated patients means improved compliance, which leads to better outcomes. In addition, you can use social media to promote your practice and save money on advertising.

However, clinicians also need to be aware of the risks of social media that are unique to healthcare. Everyone in a large practice needs to safeguard patients' protected health information (PHI), as unauthorized disclosure of PHI subjects the practice to large fines for violating federal and state privacy laws, civil lawsuits, and possible action by the medical board, all of which can be costly and disruptive to the practice. Having a strong social media policy in place can help your practice avoid this.

Here are some steps to ensure that everyone in your large practice is using social media effectively and responsibly.

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