MGG1848

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Just wondering if anyone's department has developed an official social media policy?

We've had several incidents of physicians and staff showing up on patient's social media accounts without their permission or knowledge. I see an upcoming HIPAA violation as an almost certainty with patients recording or capturing PHI of others, whether by accident or intentionally.

If so, what does it say? Do you notify them upon arrival with signage?
 

Perrin

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Depends on the intent and mood. I've let people take a quick pic of their lac before I see it up. If it's something more confrontational or vague, like a family trying to record my H&P or a pt taking my pic, I notify security who takes their phone and deletes the pic/recording. I've let family listen over the phone as I explain test results.
 

Siggy

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Depends on the intent and mood. I've let people take a quick pic of their lac before I see it up. If it's something more confrontational or vague, like a family trying to record my H&P or a pt taking my pic, I notify security who takes their phone and deletes the pic/recording. I've let family listen over the phone as I explain test results.
That's going to get the hospital in trouble... big trouble. There's no legal justification for seizing the phone and destroying the person's (digital) property.

Security can ask for the photos to be deleted.
Security can trespass the visitors.
Security can't seize the phone and delete the pictures on their own accord.
 
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Perrin

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That's going to get the hospital in trouble... big trouble. There's no legal justification for seizing the phone and destroying the person's (digital) property.

Security can ask for the photos to be deleted.
Security can trespass the visitors.
Security can't seize the phone and delete the pictures on their own accord.
You are correct. The person can refuse to surrender their phone and our security can't do anything. If they surrender their phone to security, it is voluntary and the pic/vid is deleted. I have yet to have anyone refuse to let security see their phone.

All family members I've informed that they can't record my H&P have willingly put up their phones. If they refused, i would have them removed from the room/ED. Most folks are concerned that they won't remember exactly what the results were or what the doctor said. They are easily reassured that the results can be sent to their PMD or that the admitting doc will explain things to any family at a future time.

All of us have a gestalt when the recording is nefarious or for helpful reasons. I will accommodate and be helpful when needed and oppositional when needed.
 
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Birdstrike

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Just wondering if anyone's department has developed an official social media policy?

We've had several incidents of physicians and staff showing up on patient's social media accounts without their permission or knowledge. I see an upcoming HIPAA violation as an almost certainty with patients recording or capturing PHI of others, whether by accident or intentionally.

If so, what does it say? Do you notify them upon arrival with signage?
What specifically do you mean by, "physicians and staff showing up on patient's social media accounts"?
 

Birdstrike

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I think he means that pictures and videos of physicians are showing up on Facebook without permission.
You can have a Facebook. Just don't post any pictures of patients or anything identifying about patients. Best not to post anything about work, at all, unless you've scrubbed it of all names & identifiers. And definitely don't contact, friend or connect with patients on social media. There's no need. It's just asking for trouble.
 
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emergentmd

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Just wondering if anyone's department has developed an official social media policy?

We've had several incidents of physicians and staff showing up on patient's social media accounts without their permission or knowledge. I see an upcoming HIPAA violation as an almost certainty with patients recording or capturing PHI of others, whether by accident or intentionally.

If so, what does it say? Do you notify them upon arrival with signage?
As an Adult in an adult job, docs/nurses should stay away from Social Media and esp NEVER posting any work related stuff or going onto a pts site. Seriously, What are you thinking? What good would it be for an MD like me to post anything work related on my page, less a patients page?
 
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CliveStaples

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You can have a Facebook. Just don't post any pictures of patients or anything identifying about patients. Best not to post anything about work, at all, unless you've scrubbed it of all names & identifiers. And definitely don't contact, friend or connect with patients on social media. There's no need. It's just asking for trouble.
I think he's not referring to hospital staff using social media, but rather patients who are taking pictures in the hospital and posting onto social media. Presumably without permission of the the hospital staff they are taking pictures of, and depending on what else is in the picture, could be posting pictures of other patients or other patient information.
 
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Birdstrike

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I think he's not referring to hospital staff using social media, but rather patients who are taking pictures in the hospital and posting onto social media. Presumably without permission of the the hospital staff they are taking pictures of, and depending on what else is in the picture, could be posting pictures of other patients or other patient information.
What patients are posting, sometimes including doctors and other patients. Okay.

Well, there's not much you can do about it. Patients can also slander the ---- out of you with false info on doctor review sites and/or social media and you can't do squat (or at least shouldn't) because any meaningful response is likely to be a HIPAA violation. Remember, HIPAA protects them, but not you. I suppose you could sue a patient for a slanderous social media or doctor-review post, and there are some examples of physicians doing this, but it would be a complete was of time and legal fees.

Beyond that, trying to control patient behavior, is admin's baby, I supposed, but it's futile. You can have all kinds of rules such as banning phones, etc, but if they violate the rule, you still have to take care of them, and you're required by law (EMTALA) to do so. If they snap some picture of you and tweet it out against some unenforceable hospital policy, what are you going to do? You're sure not going to confiscate their property (phone) and you sure have no ability to go in and delete their social media posts, whether it contains a photo of, or comment about you, or not.

Bottom line: There are all kinds of extra laws and ethical restrictions upon what we can and should or cannot do as health care providers, but very little to rein in a patient that wants to be otherwise rude, inappropriate or unethical unless some law is broken worthy of criminal arrest. In an outpatient office or other non-EMTALA setting on the other hand, you can fire or kick patients out of your office for whatever reason you want, or no reason at all. You just have to send them a 30-day notification letter that you're discharging them (varies slightly by state).

Does that make more sense or am I still missing the point of the OP?
 
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e30ftw

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I'll cast an odd glance at the 10/10 pain patient who refuses to talk to me about their chronic back pain because 'I already told all this to the nurse already." but overall am pretty ambiguous about the whole cell-phone/SM thing.

I do request that family members refrain from videoing procedures.

Otherwise, I try to keep the patient alive and everyone else happy, cause it's a great gig we have going on and in this admin environment you don't wanna piss anyone off.

Smile, nod, see the next patient, internalize all the BS, drive home to your ballin' house, drink a few beers, get up, repeat etc, then have a bunch of time off..
 

CliveStaples

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What patients are posting, sometimes including doctors and other patients. Okay.

Well, there's not much you can do about it. Patients can also slander the ---- out of you with false info on doctor review sites and/or social media and you can't do squat (or at least shouldn't) because any meaningful response is likely to be a HIPAA violation. Remember, HIPAA protects them, but not you. I suppose you could sue a patient for a slanderous social media or doctor-review post, and there are some examples of physicians doing this, but it would be a complete was of time and legal fees.

Beyond that, trying to control patient behavior, is admin's baby, I supposed, but it's futile. You can have all kinds of rules such as banning phones, etc, but if they violate the rule, you still have to take care of them, and you're required by law (EMTALA) to do so. If they snap some picture of you and tweet it out against some unenforceable hospital policy, what are you going to do? You're sure not going to confiscate their property (phone) and you sure have no ability to go in and delete their social media posts, whether it contains a photo of, or comment about you, or not.

Bottom line: There are all kinds of extra laws and ethical restrictions upon what we can and should or cannot do as health care providers, but very little to rein in a patient that wants to be otherwise rude, inappropriate or unethical unless some law is broken worthy of criminal arrest. In an outpatient office or other non-EMTALA setting on the other hand, you can fire or kick patients out of your office for whatever reason you want, or no reason at all. You just have to send them a 30-day notification letter that you're discharging them (varies slightly by state).

Does that make more sense or am I still missing the point of the OP?
I think you hit the nail on the head. I can't imagine that there's anything I could do about a patient recording/posting things on social media about me.

Now, if I think that it was putting other patients at risk (taking videos that contain another patient's chart or something) I would certainly hope that there are procedures in place to deal with that. Not a physician's job, but at least knowing what we can call security about would be nice.
 

TimesNewRoman

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I had a mom start to video tape a procedure. I asked her to stop. She asked why, to which I said "HIPAA, blah blah blah." She was indignant but finally said OK. She then was "texting someone" with her phone at a angle such that she couldn't see the screen but could perfectly video tape me. When I told her I wouldn't continue until her phone was away she remained adamant about the fact that she wasn't recording me.......it was unbelievable.