A scan of recent tweets by various healthcare writers led to a couple of thought-provoking articles regarding the pitfalls of social media, one was via Kevin Pho, the other Ves Dimov.
#1 – Human Resources and Medical Staff Credentialers Beware:
The applicant looks promising, you think he/she may be a good fit for the organization. Whether you’re seeking to hire a new employee or gather data on an applicant for medical staff membership and privileges, your next step may be to dig a little into the individual’s online life. After all, if it’s on the Web it’s fair game, right? So you’re off for a little browsing in Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.
Perhaps, but as with many aspects of hiring and/or credentialing, there are some gray areas to consider before you use the information you find to make any decisions.
HR Morning reminds us that what we may step into is… A potential case of TMI.
You know all the questions you’re not allowed to ask (job) applicants:
- their age
- their religion
- their sexual preference
- their race or national origin, and
- their medical condition.
You’re quite likely to stumble onto the answers to many of those questions with a foray into the applicant’s social media presence, and you can’t un-see what has been seen. Now what?
Visit Morning HR for more information on developing a policy that may help keep your organization out of court.
The legal boundaries are a little less clear when considering applicants for medical staff membership and privileges, but if you review social media in your credentialing/recredentialing process, it is important to develop and follow a policy that strictly outlines what type of information will be shared with the members of the Credentials Committee, Medical Executive Committee and Governing Board. If in doubt, consult with your legal department.
#2 – You’re Accountable for What You Post Online – Even if You Don’t Sign Your Name
NBC Chicago reports that Dr. Jay Pensler is suing three patients who anonymously posted negative reviews of his work. With the availability of sites like RateMDs and Dr. Score, as well as a myriad of other “tell us what you think” venues on the web, some may think they can publicly vent their unhappiness in a big way with no possible legal repercussions. Not so, as these three patients discovered.
Both of these reports remind all of us to be wary of the lure of the instant gratification of web self-expression. It’s not called the “world-wide” web for nothing, and there’s no way to get your words, photos, videos, and podcasts back once they’re tangled in the web.
PSA: Post Responsibly.