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Physician urges colleagues to think twice before they tweet

Over at KevinMD, the anonymous writer "Skeptical Scalpel" has some cautionary advice for physicians who tweet about patients:

I have followed several medical bloggers who post clinical anecdotes, which are essentially case reports. Despite disclaimers stating they are not about real patients, it seems obvious that they are. If the subject of one of these case report blogs decides to sue, it might be difficult to convince a jury that the blog was about a fictitious case. And this type of publication might be considered a HIPAA violation especially because it is unlikely that a blogger would have obtained institutional review board permission to publish the case report.

It's a welcome reminder that, no matter whom your intended audience might be, it's important to think carefully about what you're writing before you make it available on the web.

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