AMA adopts policy for physicians’ professional use of social media….
The American Medical Association recently adopted a new social media policy that will help physicians better use social networking sites in developing relationships with patients.
The policy will guide physicians in maintaining a positive online presence and preserving the integrity of the patient-physician relationship when using these sites as a means of professional communication, according to an AMA press release.
“Using social media can help physicians create a professional presence online, express their personal views and foster relationships, but it can also create new challenges for the patient-physician relationship,” Mary Anne McCaffree, MD, an AMA board member, stated in the release. “The AMA’s new policy outlines a number of considerations physicians should weigh when building or maintaining a presence online.”
The policy encourages physicians to take the following steps:
- Use privacy settings to safeguard personal information and content to the fullest extent on social networking sites;
- Routinely monitor their internet presence to ensure that the personal and professional information on their personal sites and content about them posted by others is accurate and appropriate;
- Maintain appropriate patient-physician relationship boundaries when interacting or consulting with patients online, while ensuring that patient privacy and confidentiality is maintained;
- Consider separating personal content from professional content online; and
- Recognize that actions online and posted content can negatively affect their reputations among patients and colleagues and may have consequences for their careers.