I blogged before & was just getting into it when the whole idea of NHS doctors & Social Media became a hot issue. I then hid all of my previous posts (though they couldn’t have been more uncontentious).
I completely understand the fear – patient data is sacrosanct. The Trust’s views are also tightly held and any patient information put out by any staff must be approved first. This is quite right and sensible. For that reason all of my posts are my own personal views and advice. The Trust (in this case Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust is not in any way connected with , or even aware of them).
This fear is justified. Even in personal contacts Social Media has risks. I act as the Facebook police, telling all medics that no NHS site photos are acceptable, to hide the registration number of their new car (risk of identity theft) and to not reveal when they are away (but only post when returned). This gives crooks a licence to rob – and worse insurance an excuse not to pay.
This week a doctor in the US was refused a contract until he signed a particular clause forbidding patient contact on Social Media sites – he appeared to be using this as he had a group of disease-specific renal patients who were widely spread and needed some form of contact portal. His response highlighted the lack of such forums in these circumstances.