Appropriate Use of Social Media in Healthcare Organizations

April 14, 2011

A question during a presentation on social media in healthcare about the appropriate use of social media in patient care areas. Social media can be an effective tool for engaging patients online. But what about the use of social media in patient care areas. Should nurses, physicians and other healthcare providers be online interacting with colleagues or family during active patient care? With busy clinics and busier hospital units and greater concern about patient safety, is there time for what administrators might view as a distraction? Would you want your nurse to be updating Facebook while you are waiting for post-op pain medication? Yet there may be some advantages to direct caregivers utilizing social media. How about the oncology nurse interacting with the cancer patient discharged last week? Or nurses within a hospital exchanging ideas about improving patient safety? Yet stories of abusive use of social media in health care persist.

Clear answers are  hard to come by. Each hospital will need to develop its own policy and implementation of that policy in the use of social media in patient care environments. But when face time with the patient is the highest priority, social media may need to take a back seat.

Slides are here:

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2 Responses to “Appropriate Use of Social Media in Healthcare Organizations”

  1. Good questions. I believe having social media embraced by hospital staff is perfect idea. If doctors, nurses and physicians are too busy to engage patients online, then they should employ someone to assist in managing social media.

    Erick Kinuthia
    Team MDwebpro

  2. [...] John w. Sharp published a great slideshow focusing on how healthcare institutions should use social media and he also mentioned the potential dangers. [...]

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