Earlier this week, the American Medical Association adopted a new policy directing physicians on how to "maintain a positive online presence and preserve the integrity of the patient-physician relationship." According to the AMA's release, the new policy recommends doctors:
- Use privacy settings to safeguard personal information and content to the fullest extent possible on social networking sites.
- Routinely monitor their own Internet presence to ensure that the personal and professional information on their own sites and content posted about them by others, is accurate and appropriate.
- Maintain appropriate boundaries of the patient-physician relationship when interacting with patients online and ensure patient privacy and confidentiality is maintained.
- Consider separating personal and professional content online.
- Recognize that actions online and content posted can negatively affect their reputations among patients and colleagues, and may even have consequences for their medical careers.
Previously: Social media brings up questions, ethical unknowns for doctors, How to respond to patient contact on Twitter: A physician's advice, Physician 2.0: Do doctors risk becoming irrelevant if they ignore social media? and Why health-care professionals should blog