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Challenges of Healthcare and Social Media

Social media has significantly impacted almost every aspect of our society today. One sector that has been benefiting greatly from this is the healthcare industry. Social media has made it easy for people to access health information and find medical care anytime they need it.

For instance, it is now easy to access information about health insurance. You can also find everything in the health insurance portability and accountability act. This article will take an in-depth look at everything to know the challenges of healthcare and social media.

Let’s get into it.

Challenges of Social Media in Health Care

This article is mainly about the challenges of using social media in the healthcare industry. It is vital to take a deeper look at these challenges because it will help you avoid any mistakes that could turn costly for your organization.

HIPAA Compliance

There are two main ways HIPAA compliance is an issue in practices like healthcare. One is the fear organizations have of being hacked by cybercriminals. Second is the fear of accidentally exposing a client’s information to cybercriminals which means breaking data privacy laws.

The reality is that HIPAA violations come with some serious consequences. You need to ensure you don’t violate any HIPPA rules if you want to avoid facing serious consequences. Thankfully, HIPAA provides privacy laws that organizations should stick to even when using social media.

Here are some of these guidelines:

  • Develop clear policies on social media use and ensure your team knows them.
  • Training your staff on social media best practices and conducting refresher pieces of training
  • Make the rules easier to understand for your audience by providing them with examples.

You might wonder what some potential HIPAA cyber security rule violations are. It will be good to know them so that you don’t make grievous mistakes when using social media for health care. Let’s see some of the common violations you might make as an organization utilizing social media :

  • Using a patient’s image or video without acquiring their written consent
  • Creating gossip posts about patients
  • Providing clues in your posts that could lead to the identification of a patient
  • Making patient PHI visible when you post images within your facility
  • Sharing sensitive information within a private social media group

The good news is that there are ways to get past the HIPAA compliance challenge. The best way to do it is by investing in your cyber security. You can use strong antivirus software, update your systems, set strong passwords, and update them regularly to ensure your online safety.

The privacy law in healthcare aims at protecting both health institutions and customers. It will be worth noting that it’s not only customers who get exposed in case of a breach. An organization can also face significant threats once its data and the patient data they hold gets exposed.

Social Media Content Management

Consistency is important when utilizing social media in an organization. It should be an ongoing task that requires an experienced team to handle without fail. They must regularly update your social media pages with fresh posts relevant to your practice and patient needs.

Maintaining professionalism when using social media as a health care practitioner is also critical. You need to ensure that you maintain a serious and professional tone on every post you make. Avoid making childish and less respectable posts that will affect your brand.

You have a role in ensuring proper content gets posted on your social channels and with utmost professionalism. Creating social media guidelines that your team will follow can make this an easy task. Ensure you refer to the HIPAA guidelines when setting your organization’s laws.

Responding to Negative Reviews

It is always important to get ready for negative reviews of your business. You cannot expect people to always be positive about your business. Some will say negative things even if you provide them with the best service. Social media is one of the places you’ll encounter this.

What matters most is how you respond to negative reviews. You must ensure that your followers don’t feel offended by your responses. Also, ensure they do not feel inconvenienced in any way. It is advisable to respond privately if there are serious concerns to be addressed.

Patient Data Privacy

Data privacy is essential in the healthcare industry. The HIPAA law clearly states that you must keep sensitive patient information as private as possible. You risk getting banned from practicing as a healthcare professional if you don’t stick to patient data privacy rules.

Every healthcare facility that wants to be HIPAA compliant looks at its social media strategy. A social media strategy that allows your team to stay will make it easy to ensure data privacy. You should check your systems regularly to ensure you don’t leave customer data exposed.

Poor-Quality Information

Source: Pixabay

The quality of information you put out there matters. Social media can be a great information source for patients. But there is a risk of getting fake information from social platforms. The best thing to do is ensure people trust your social media channels as credible information sources.

It will help to start with verifying information before posting it. This is the best way to build trust with your audience and make them visit your website for information. Also, it is vital to let your patients know they should be aware of fake information being spread on social media.

Social Media Can be Both A Blessing and Curse

HIPAA compliance is the main challenge for many industries, especially healthcare. There are many other challenges around the quality of information, professionalism, and social media management. However, it is also worth noting that the challenges aren’t limited to only these.

You now know the challenges of using social media in the healthcare field. It will now be easier to start using social media as a healthcare professional. We have listed all you can expect from it to make it easier to get started and get the best result from your social media strategy.



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