Doctors learn the evolving limits of social media

I wanted to share an article that was sent to me about medical professionals and medical students use of social media.

Excerpts:

Rhode Island physician Alexandra Thran posted information about a trauma patient — not even the name, but enough about the condition to be considered a violation of privacy laws. She was fired by her hospital last year and disciplined by her state medical board a few weeks ago.

When the University of Florida began studying the Facebook habits of its medical students and residents in 2007, it found a dozen instances in which students and residents posted photographs on their Facebook pages of themselves caring for patients.

The photos were taken during medical mission trips outside the United States, so HIPAA rules did not apply. But findings like that prompted discussions, and eventually led to a medical school policy on the use of social media that specifically says not to post health information about any patients, Thompson said.

The UF research found that more than half of medical students with Facebook pages included information about their sexual orientation, relationship status and political opinions. It also found numerous photographs showing medical students consuming alcohol.

Read the entire article

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