The purpose of this webinar is to review the use of social media by health care organizations to better assist patients and health plan members and more broadly communicate to patients, health plan members, families and the community. The risks associated with social media will be reviewed along with a social media policy and procedure and a social media plan. Also, the webinar will include tips regarding how to minimize social media risks and better education for health care organizations’ workforce members.
Social media represents a low cost effective way to reach out to consumers of health care, industry colleagues and business-to-business customers. A number of health care organizations have implemented social media programs but many have also not through the adverse implications. Social media may represent one of the most significant risks to the unauthorized disclosure of patient information, especially if not managed with security in mind.
It is important to roll out social media programs in a structure fashion rather than rolling out a program "because the competition is." Planning is key to significantly reducing risk to the organization and patients and should occur prior to rolling out a social media program. Even if a social media program has been rolled out without sufficient pre-planning, it does not mean it’s too late to develop that plan and communicate it to employees, physicians, case workers, marketing and communications and so forth.
Social media stretches beyond what many see as the common social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Social media programs should also address the use of web-based personal mail, blogs posted on websites and white papers that are written and published on the web for educational purposes. The organization needs a plan to reasonably ensure no identifiable patient information is included in the plethora of posting out there, even if it is a white paper outlining treatment practices related to the care of certain conditions.
It's all too easy for patient information to leak out through social media. Web mail, as an example may be used to email patient specific information to another person or even to oneself. This may represent a breach of patient information, it may represent theft of patient information and, at the very least, it usually involves sending patient information un-encrypted over the internet. If intercepted, that would be considered a breach.
This webinar will address the multiple facets of social media and how to use the tools available while minimizing risk. There is no such thing as risk free social media but the risk can be significantly reduced with sufficient planning and employee education.
Participants will walk away with a template plan, a template policy and procedure and knowledge of the pitfalls of social media that can be very expensive. This is not just a webinar focused on risk and regulations. It is intended to provide the tools needed to protect health care organizations and their consumers.
The bottom line is once information makes it out to the Internet, it is very difficult if not impossible to get back. Also, if the posting is of high interest to even a few people, the information will travel way beyond the intended group. It's important again to remember it's not just the posting of a patient's name. It also includes posting enough information that a "reasonable person" can identify the patient. A sound social media program will go a long way to limiting any unauthorized disclosure of patient/consumer information.
Areas Covered in the Session: