The Importance of Having a Social Media Policy for Medical Office Employees

April 19, 2021

If your healthcare practice does not already have a social media policy in place for employees, it is important that you create one sooner rather than later. A code of conduct for healthcare employees can help you avoid the consequences that may arise as a result of your employees’ inappropriate use of social platforms, as well as improve the overall patient experience.

The dangers of social media for healthcare workers

Many healthcare providers do not think to monitor their healthcare employees’ social media accounts, but the sad truth is, doing so may be necessary for maintaining their reputations or very livelihoods. We live in a time when individuals take to the internet not just to share photos or cute cat memes, but to vent about their days, share political beliefs, seek advice, and even humblebrag about a job well done. These actions, though innocent in and of themselves, can spell trouble for medical providers. Below are few real-life examples of ways “friendly posts” or “quick rants” have resulted in HIPPA violations, legal action, and/or employee termination:

There are also times healthcare workers post flagrantly inappropriate content concerning their jobs, patients, and the institutions for which they work. Nurses, techs, and even doctors may provide medical advice when they have no place to do so. There are dozens of ways social media can land a practice in hot water, which is why it is so important to establish a sound code of conduct for healthcare employees.

Guidelines for a doctor’s social media policy

A healthcare social media policy outlines what employees can and cannot do on both their personal and professional social media profiles. These policies are absolutely necessary to protect the privacy of your patients and your practice’s reputation. While every organization’s policy looks different, yours should, at the very least, cover a few basic elements.

Industry and legal standards

There are several regulations with which healthcare employees need to comply, with HIPPA being just one of them. Not only should you reference these standards in your policy, but you should also ensure employees are adequately trained on them.

Restricted topics

You cannot entirely control what employees say or do on social media, but you can provide guidance. Outline suggested topics to avoid as well as examples of ways these topics can lead to administrative or legal consequences.


Give your policy teeth by detailing the consequences employees may face for failing to adhere to your policy.

Be proactive about reputation management

Developing a social media code of conduct for your medical or dental practice is just one way you can protect your practice’s reputation. At Doctor Genius, we can help you think up and implement this and more. Call our team today at 1-877-477-2311 to learn more.

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