Fake hospital CEO on Facebook highlights social media security issues

Although more health executives are using Facebook to share health information and engage their healthcare communities, Murray-Calloway County (Ky.) Hospital's CEO learned that not all Facebook activity can be protected or prevented, reports the Murray Ledge & Times. Despite using Facebook as mostly a public relations platform--with high privacy settings and limited personal info--the hospital CEO Jerry Penner found out that a fake "Jerry Penner" account has been "friending" his employees and peers.  

At first, the profile contained mostly harmless comments and wall posts, the real Penner told the Murray Ledge & Times. However, last week a hospital employee (and Facebook friend) received a request from the imposter account with the message, "I love you."

Although Penner contacted Facebook to prevent the imposter from sending inappropriate messages, everyone can still access the fake account, except for the real Penner.

Such social media scams reinforce the privacy and security issues associated with its use in healthcare. According to a new PwC's Health Research Institute study, healthcare organizations will enhance their social media security efforts in 2012.

According to the report, protecting online information will become a top priority for hospitals, especially as they incorporate social media into their overall strategy to deliver high-quality care, notes American Medical News.

"As more stakeholders enter the data-sharing mix through digitized records, mobile devices, social media and health databases, health care organizations need to build more granular access-control models to prevent overexposure of information," the report states.

To learn more:
- read the Murray Ledger article
- download the PwC study (reg. req.)
- here's the amed news article

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