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Healthcare Providers Need Social Media Policies

SOCIAL NETWORKING—U.S.

April 9, 2010

When it comes to employees' social networking use, healthcare providers can be in the precarious position of trying to protect not only their image but also patient privacy, ADVANCE reports. Attorney Teresa Tracy urges employers to make it clear that postings of patient information violate HIPAA, noting, "Some employees, strange as it may seem, really are not aware these things are not allowed." Experts also caution that privacy breaches are not always so clear, and even posts about unnamed patients can lead to violations. "It's a rapidly evolving medium," says Paul Matsen of the Cleveland Clinic, "so you need to stay attuned to how it's growing and adapt your policies as you need to going forward."
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