PHI Best Practices Social Media Use Best Practices Paper

PHI Best Practices- Social Media Use Best Practices

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Technology has infiltrated all sectors, including the health sector. Modern technology includes social media, and they convey advantages and disadvantages to the healthcare sector. Nurses and other healthcare providers should ensure they understand the principles and regulations underlying social media use to maintain high-quality care and protect themselves from the consequences of poor social media use. This essay focuses on social media use best practices to protect the patients, the workplaces, and themselves.

PHI Best Practices Social Media Use Best Practices Paper

HIPAA act and American Nurses Association provide guidelines to ensure productive social media use (Cohen & Mello, 2018). The nurse should understand that these regulations apply to corporate and individual social media accounts. ANA instructs that nurses must not upload identifiable patient information on social media without consent from the patient. Patient information may include texts, photos, or videos displayed on social media. Nurses must also be aware that their co-workers, patients, and organizations may view their posts. They should thus moderate their content and use standards for social media use. In addition, they should ensure their posts are approved by the organizational body responsible for social media (Bani Issa et al., 2020). It is the responsibility of nurses to familiarize themselves with the organizational policies, rules, and regulations in place to govern social media use to avoid breaching them.

As a nurse, avoid comments on social media platforms that degrade patients, families, or co-workers. Refrain from posting comments that suggest they are representing their employer. Do not intimidate or bully co-workers or patients, whether in person or on social media. Avoid sharing employers, previous employers, or co-workers’ pictures on social media platforms (NVS, 2020). Show professional conduct in the posts and not post photos, videos, or texts that could be considered ‘unprofessional.’

Observe ethical patient-nurse boundaries even on social media. HIPAA instructs that nurses should not discuss on social media platforms with patients who have disclosed PHI. Also, utilize privacy settings and separate professional and personal information posts. Moreover, promptly report any content uploaded that could interfere with a patient’s privacy, rights, or welfare to the respective organization. Nurses should also play an active role in developing and implementing policies in organizations regarding social media conduct. Participation enhances compliance.

HIPAA states that social media platforms are robust health education and health promotion for nurses to use. Nurses are allowed and encouraged to use social media to post health tips. They can also post events details, new medical research of significance to the public, bios of staff, and marketing messages (Wang et al., 2019). However, any of these should not entail patient health information. If nurses have to use patient health information, they should obtain written consent from the patient allowing the PHI to be used. In addition, the information should only be used for the intended purpose for which the patient gave consent, failure to which they violate HIPAA act social media rules.

Additional Information

Protected health information is information about the health status, care provision, or healthcare services payment of a specific individual created or collected by a registered HIPAA-covered healthcare provider (Bani Issa et al., 2020 PHI Best Practices Social Media Use Best Practices Paper). Healthcare technology is surrounded by security, privacy, and confidentiality issues. Privacy refers to the limits to which information can be shared with others and the ways of sharing it. A privacy issue, for example, would be sharing a patient’s progress on social media. Security refers to how the information is kept safe using administrative, technical, and physical safeguards. An example of a security issue is access to patient data by an individual who is not a healthcare team member. Confidentiality issues entail the unauthorized sharing of information entrusted to the organization. Sharing the HIV status of an individual to the family or the public against the patient’s instructions is a breach of confidentiality. Healthcare providers should ensure they collaboratively safeguard patients’ data. Collaborating ensures individuals do not violate organizational rules. It saves the cost of legal tussles healthcare professionals and organizations face due to patient information safety, confidentiality, and security breaches. It also ensures all ways in which data is breached are mitigated, and patient information is secure.

There lacks precise data on media breaches, but at least 100 nurses in the United States are prosecuted for poor social media use yearly (Brous & Olsen, 2019). Healthcare professionals face stern disciplinary actions such as termination of job contract, withdrawal of the practicing license, and prosecution with criminal charges. Fines of up to $250,000 and a jail term of up to ten years are imposed in criminal charges. Organizations incur costs between $100- $50,000 depending on the severity of the breach of social media use rules. The maximum penalty is $1.5m. Organizations have laid down several strategies to ensure the safety of patient information. Training workers is an effective strategy to ensure patient information safety and appropriate social media use. Some institutions have policies requiring their workers to submit posts for review before posting them on social media (Bani Issa et al., 2020). These two strategies have effectively minimized cases of patient information safety issues and poor social media use.

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