The vast majority of people believe that marketing medical services on social media while adhering to HIPAA regulations is impossible. This stems from the fact that social media allows us to share everything about our lives while HIPAA is a champion of patient privacy.
While the two may sound mutually exclusive at first, it’s important to understand that there are countless clinics that have managed to perfectly balance the two. In other words, it’s very to advertise your services and the amazing work that your practice does while sticking to HIPAA regulations!
Today, we’ll be looking at viable ways medical and dental practices can achieve just that.
Step #1 – Developing a Better Understanding of Social Media Platforms:
Let’s start with the basics; before you start promoting your services on social media, it’s important to be fully aware of how the platform operates. For example, you should understand Facebook’s privacy settings and always set the privacy of your posts to global which ensures that you reach the maximum amount of people.
Similarly, for other social media platforms, learn about their different features and draft an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) on which condition should you use a particular feature. For example, on Twitter, all appointments should be made via direct messages while general information such as the operating hours of your practice can be disclosed via tweets.
Step #2 – Stay Professional:
First and foremost, all your employees (from doctors to the janitors) should always remain highly professional when operating on social media. Never friend your patients or their friends and/or family members on Facebook as it can result in serious ethics problem which results in HIPAA violations.
Similarly, you should never, under any circumstance, mention the name of your patients on your social media platform as that’s a blatant violation of HIPAA regulations.
Step #3 – Have Separate Accounts:
If you’re going to promote your products or services on social media, it’s important that you draw the line between your personal and professional life. What this means that is that you should not post personal information on your public Facebook page and vice versa. Maintain two accounts and keep your personal and professional lives separate.
Step #4 – Develop an SOP:
It goes without saying that you can’t expect to constantly monitor everything that your colleagues post on their social media accounts. This is why, as mentioned above, it’s important to have a Standard Operating Procedure in place that your co-workers should always adhere to.
This can be achieved by conducting regular training sessions so that your employees and coworkers know what’s allowed and what’s not. Doing so will drastically reduce your chances of violating HIPAA regulations.
And there you have it; our definitive guide on making your social media presence HIPAA compliant. We hope that this clears up any confusion you may have had about the process and that your practice maintains its spotless reputation in the future!
Healthguv is one of the top social networks for healthcare, as the medical social media site has thousands of daily users that are actively looking for the services of experienced and licensed practitioners. Contact us today to learn more about how you stand to benefit from joining our network of healthcare professionals!