Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Physician fired from hospital for using Facebook

There's a story on Boston.com about a physician who was fired from a hospital for posting information about a trauma patient on Facebook. Although the physician did not use the patient's name, "she wrote enough that others in the community could identify the patient, according to a board filing."

Dr. Alexandra Thran, 48, was fired from Westerly Hospital in Rhode Island. It seems to me that we really need more information about this situation.  Doctors are using social media for a variety of different things. In many situations we disguise the facts about a case, but perhaps this is not enough.

2 comments:

  1. Masking the patient's personal data is not enough. If I know who you are as a doctor, where you work, which department ... connecting the dots to your specific case YESTERDAY is often enough to identify the patient.

    I developed these resources for doctors who want to establish a strong online presence: http://www.healthcaremarketingcoe.com/health_care_social_media/ Please feel free to browse, and if you need other topics to cover, please let me know.

    There are so many things physicians can do with social media without getting in trouble. It's just a matter of knowing. And it's quite evident neither our hospital, nor medical schools will help us.

    Simon Sikorski, M.D. http://twitter.com/#!/MedMarketingCOE

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  2. I would have to agree with Simon and the fact that having a social presence can be done without giving away patient confidentiality. It really boils down to being smart about what is being posted. Being informative about certain topics that involve your practice can be done without being personal.

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