Social Media Policy For Doctors, Hospitals & Private Practice

by ivanwalsh on October 6, 2010

While most Social Media policies provide guidelines for Facebook, Twitter, and blogging, others are entering into this field. This article shows how Social Media is being adopted by those in Private Practice, such as health professionals, hospitals and doctors to connect with customers.

Dr. Bertalan Meskó writes, ‘I’ve been writing about applications and web tools that can save time and energy for medical professionals. Providing a clear social media policy has clear advantages so it’s always a pleasure to read other doctors’ own guidelines. Here is an excerpt from a recent article:

As your doctor, I might sit on the edge of your hospital bed and try to quell your fears and anxieties of being ill. Or, I might bounce into the examination room with a bright smile and try to make you laugh with one of my very funny (read: corny) jokes. We might sit together and catch up on your life over the past six months since we last saw each other. In fact, we might have a patient-physician relationship that makes other patients and physicians utterly jealous.
But, please, don’t ask me to be your friend. That is, your Facebook friend.

Keely Kolmes, PsyD has a private practice and shared her experience with using social media. This is the summary of what she published:

  • She does not accept friend requests (Facebook, LinkedIn) from current or former clients.
  • She does not allow clients to become Fans of the Facebook Page of her practice.
  • If one of her patients starts following her on Twitter, they will discuss it during the next meeting. She does not follow back.
  • She does not interact with patients on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. She encourages her patients to call her or as a secondary option, use e-mail.
  • It is not a regular part of her practice to search for clients on Google or other search engines.
  • She does not follow current or former clients on Google Reader.
  • Business review sites: She does not respond to such reviews.
  • She prefers to use e-mail only to arrange or modify appointments.

I hope to see more similar guides in the future.

Read more about Private Practice Social Media Policy

Social Media and Private Practices

Do you agree with these guidelines? What would you add to them to make them more practical?

Also, would you friend your Doctor online?

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