Doctors are being cautioned by hospitals they work with to avoid interacting with patients on social media, and that they reject any overtures by patients to interact on the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
Stanford University School of Medicine student Matt Goldstein, who graduates in June and has accepted a position at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, says the hospital specifically stated in a letter to him that it would like him to refrain from using social media with patients. Goldstein also says the letter he got told him he should change his privacy settings on Facebook, if he used it at all, to optimize privacy.
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"The letter said the patient may try to 'friend' you, but we suggest you don't accept," said Goldstein. The letter also suggested he "review photos" he might have posted online anywhere in the interests of establishing an online identity as a medical professional.
Goldstein, whose research has focused on lymphoma and leukemia, admits he's disappointed that his social-media interactions with patients are to be curtailed, but he does understand that the physician/patient relationship is sensitive. Stanford also expressed the need to show caution about social networking as a medical professional, he said. And he acknowledges there are probably legal fine points to understand.
Read more: http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/security/doctors-warned-not-to-use-social-media-with-patients
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