Balancing Social Media with HIPAA
But there are also some threats, which social media poses to the privacy of patients. Lack of proper social media usage policies for healthcare workers and the human lapses can seriously put the integrity and confidentiality of the patient health information at risk. The intentional or unintentional display of the patient health information will surely invite strict penalties and convictions as per HIPAA regulations.
Instead of creating friction or conflict between HIPAA with social media through irresponsible use, the health care organizations should administer a sound social media management policy, which ensures that no leakages occur and what ever goes on the net is not detrimental to healthcare rights of the patient. If some how the information does manage to slip through, strict vigilance should ensure timely removal of the content from the net. The medical staff should be trained to handle social media in such a manner that both, organization and patients, are benefited through its constructive use.
Instead of opposing each other, the social media and HIPAA must be harmonized in such a manner so that the vast reach, which social media provides, is used effectively to address the healthcare issues, without compromising the individual or collective healthcare privacy rights.