Category : Nursing Homes
Social media is wonderful tool for connecting with one another or disseminating important information. However, in a setting where patients are particularly vulnerable due to physical or cognitive impairment, extra caution is necessary to avoid the top three pitfalls for social media use in a nursing home.
Patient Privacy and Confidentiality
When implementing nursing home social media policy, the most severe danger to address is the possibility that employees will intentionally or inadvertently share private information about residents. Disseminating information about a particular resident’s care, name, or imagine on social media can be a serious ethical violation. Worse yet, your facility may also be penalized under federal law restricting the release of medical information.
Improper Boundaries with Residents and Families
While it is helpful for patients, families, and staff to have a good rapport, there is a risk of inappropriate relationships once there is engagement on social media. Facilities should consider prohibiting such connections to prevent even the hint of impropriety.
Use of Company Technology
Many employees will use social media from their own devices anyway, but it is prudent to limit or restrict social media access on company devices to avoid additional liability for the facility. It will also close another avenue sometimes used to by outside sources to steal data.
Taking care of the most vulnerable patients is a serious responsibility both in the real and virtual world, so avoiding the pitfalls of social media is a vital part of nursing home safety.