Dental HIPAA Social Media Guidelines
Social media contains many pitfalls for dental hygienists and other health-care professionals, but can be used properly with some good judgment and knowledge of HIPAA rules.
Being an expert on HIPAA compliance is part of the job as a dental professional. Whether you own your own practice, work part-time as a hygienist or create marketing campaigns, it is important to advocate for patients’ privacy and protect their personal information from being misused by third parties like insurance companies who are trying to get more people signed up under them so they will make money in commission each month.
The Dos and Don’ts
It’s difficult to keep up with changes in social media, and healthcare professionals have an especially tough job. There are guidelines for what can be shared on Facebook or Twitter but it varies from case-to-case so you need to ask yourself: is this information I’m sharing private? Is it a violation of my HIPAA contract?
HIPAA violations can be unintentional or intentional. According to the website HIPAA Journal, following are general guidelines when posting on social media:
- PHI is not allowed to be on social media unless it has written consent.
- Written consent must be specific in how the PHI will be used.
- It is not permitted to share images and videos without written consent.
- HIPAA privacy laws prohibit the use of photographs in any space where PHI is visible.
- You are to avoid posting information about a patient on social media even if the person cannot be identified or is deceased.
- Information is just one click away from being shared with everyone in your contacts list or even on social media. Never assume a post is private, secure or has been deleted
Social Media: An Excellent Way To Spread Your Message
Social media is an excellent way to reach out and get your message across. It can do wonders for branding, marketing, or even just staying in touch with friends and family! But there are risks too- sometimes the information you share on social media may not be seen as favorable by others online – so it’s important that you protect yourself before posting anything sensitive like passwords or personal photos.
Social media has become a powerful tool to help dentists build rapport with their patients, and is an easy way for them to connect outside of the clinical setting. Dentists are able use social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter not only as marketing tools but also a platform that allows professionals from different backgrounds cross post information about best practices among other topics relevant to dental care.
When it comes down to teeth health (a very important part) more people feel comfortable going in because they’re familiar with online resources like Yelp reviews which give potential customers insight into how previous clients felt after visiting this dentist office-and if there’s any kind of red flags before scheduling your appointment.
We’ll share a few tips to help keep your office social media-appropriate. Some of the basics include:
- Create separate Facebook accounts for both personal time and professional life
- Do not engage in any discussion about patients’ medical records if someone posts them on an open forum like Twitter or Instagram
- Stay up-to-date with Dental HIPAA training from a HIPAA expert regarding how best to handle different scenarios which may arise
Social Media changes constantly yet remains steadfastly rooted in its core mission – connecting people who would otherwise never meet due limitations imposed by geographical boundaries. As social media evolves so too must our awareness about privacy issues not only from patients but also professionals who use them daily. There will always be some record left behind long after we’ve hit “send,” even if it’s just a digital footprint which can be traced back years down the road when someone decides to search your online presence thoroughly.