Guidelines For Ethical Use Of Social Media For Physicians
If the Internet has made it easy for physicians to stay informed about the latest advancements and events in the medical field, social media has given them the tools to collaborate with peers in their professional capacities. Whether it is information sharing or taking advice or guidance from more experienced colleagues or simply discussing common medical conditions and viable treatments, social media channels make all of it easy and instantaneous. In fact, it is not wrong to say that these channels have made it possible for physicians to educate their patients, and share expertise while making their practice more visible to those who need their services. However, these channels can be positive drivers of professional growth only when they are used in the right way, i.e.: ethically and responsibly.
Tips For Doctors On Social Media
- Patient privacy always comes first. Social media channels are public channels that can be accessed by anyone in the world. This needs to be kept in mind when you are interacting with peers using this channel, particularly when discussing a specific case. Avoid putting up any identifiable patient information on these channels and make sure your privacy settings are tweaked sufficiently to allow such interactions to be accessible only to other medical professionals of your choice.
- Ensure accuracy of information. As a physician, you have a huge responsibility on your shoulders to only share accurate factual information on social media channels. This arises from the fact that your patients and other members of the public will assume that information posted by you is medically accurate and they may act upon it or make decisions on basis of your information.
- Maintain professional distance with patients. Social media channels typically set the stage for informal interactions but this could be inappropriate for medical professionals. Whether you are posting content or interacting with patients online, always keep the patient- physician boundaries in mind. Overstepping these boundaries may result in serious detrimental impact to your career. Keeping personal content and personal social media channel presence separate from your professional groups may make it easy for you to follow this guideline.
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Category: Social Media