Medical Social Media Policy, A Green Light

Very glad to see the American Medical Association Policy on the use of social media.  At a basic level says – it’s OK to use social media, and here are some guidelines.  Guidelines are important, not least to protect clinicians (as to what can go wrong and why read this candid and personal interview with Dr. Flea, ex-medical blogger losing a malpractice lawsuit because of his blog).   Here is the start of their policy

AMA Policy: Professionalism in the Use of Social Media

The Internet has created the ability for medical students and physicians to communicate and share information quickly and to reach millions of people easily. Participating in social networking and other similar Internet opportunities can support physicians’ personal expression, enable individual physicians to have a professional presence online, foster collegiality and camaraderie within the profession, provide opportunity to widely disseminate public health messages and other health communication. Social networks, blogs, and other forms of communication online also create new challenges to the patient-physician relationship. Physicians should weigh a number of considerations when maintaining a presence online:

Cracovia Sacra

Cracovia Sacra early 16th century

The rest of the guidelines include

  • keeping patient information confidential
  • keeping physician information confidential
  • keeping professional ethical boundaries when interacting with patients online
  • ensuring that in posting content they and their colleagues act professionally to maintain reputations of patients and colleagues

For a good write up on these points see Ted Eytan on KevinMD’s blog. I would love to see something like this for the Australian Medical and Health Professions.