How to create a social media policy for staff

While you should be well-versed by now in the reasons to develop a social media presence for your practice, it's important to make sure that your employees' personal social media use doesn't undermine your efforts. Instead of altogether blocking employees' access to Facebook and Twitter, set out clear expectations for how representatives of your practice must conduct themselves online.

A short, simple social media policy works best by including examples and encouraging employees to use their judgment, Pam Lagano with strategy-based public relations firm Lagano & Associates, Inc., recently told Becker's Hospital Review.

For an excellent example of how an organization can convey to employees how their personal social media use may affect their job, check out a recent YouTube video from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Some simple rules listed in the video that can be applied to all healthcare settings include the following:

  • Consider all practice policies that normally apply to you in offline circumstances and apply them when you're online.
  • If you wouldn't say something loudly within earshot of patients and their families, don't say it online.
  • Don't use social media for personal reasons on work time.
  • Don't post patients' personally identifiable information or protected health information.
  • Do identify your relationship with the practice if you engage in a discussion about the practice, but be sure to clarify that you are not speaking on behalf of the practice.

To learn more:
- read the article from Becker's Hospital Review
- check out the video from Dartmouth-Hitchcock

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