February 12th, 2016
By: Alanna Diffendal
Did you know that 93% of marketers use Social Media to promote businesses and gain customers? The Healthcare Industry is no different. Doctor’s offices are moving to social media not only as a way to draw in new patients but also a way to communicate with their current ones. But, posting information on social media, even keeping the patient’s name out of the post, can still violate HIPAA and put your practice in jeopardy.
If a posts includes specific or uncommon traits of a patient’s condition or job it is possible to identify the person. In such cases, HIPAA keeps the patient’s anonymity in mind and will contest the post. A provider in Boston, unintentionally posted confidential information about a patient and therefore lost her job and was reprimanded by the State Licensing Authority.
65% of Americans use social media, so practices have turned to private messages to communicate with their patients. This also can violate HIPAA regulations because the name on the account may not be the correct person or an imposter, therefore HIPAA is breached. A Physician or staff member that is contacting a patient through social media needs to have their consent before sending any confidential information even if the message is private.
RxNT wants to make sure your practice is aware of how to stay HIPAA compliant when using Social Media.
Read the full article about Keeping Social Media HIPAA-compliant here.