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Social Media and Clinical Care

Social media offers patients ways to locate health information, interact with support forums, and share their illness/injury/healthcare experience.  Understandably, patients also want to use social media for communicating with their health care providers as well.

A recent article in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation reviews how social media is being used for clinical care and the implications it has on medical ethics, professsionalism, and society.

The article addresses patient communication via social media and the privacy/security concerns involved, writing about patients on social media, patient “friendships”, looking up information about patients on the web, commercial interests and patient exploitation, physician rating sites, and other legal liability issues related to discoverability and giving medical advice.

Source: Chretien KC and Kind T. Social media and clinical care: ethical, professional, and social implications. Circulation 127:1413, Apr. 2, 2013. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/127/13/1413.full.pdf+html

Related sources:

Should healthcare organizations use social media? A global update. Computer Sciences Corporation, Mar. 2012. http://assets1.csc.com/health_services/downloads/CSC_Should_Healthcare_Organizations_Use_Social_Media_A_Global_Update.pdf

Farnan JM and others. Online medical professionalism: patient and public relationships. Policy statement from the American College of Physicians and the Federation of State Medical Boards. Annals of Internal Medicine 158(8): 620, Apr. 16, 2013. http://healthblawg.sharedby.co/8d9f35b3d72281e8/?web=da5286&dst=http%3A//annals.org/article.aspx%3Farticleid%3D1675927

Model policy guidelines for the appropriate use of social media and social networking in medical practice. Federation of State Medical Boards, Apr. 2012. www.fsmb.org/pdf/pub-social-media-guidelines.pdf

Professionalism in the use of social media. American Medical Association, June 2011. http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion9124.page

Ryan M. Guiding principles for physician use of social media. Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, Mar. 7, 2012. http://network.socialmedia.mayoclinic.org/2012/03/07/guiding-principles-for-physician-use-of-social-media/ [free registration may be required to view]

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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