BMA to Doctors: It’s Not Complicated — Don’t Be Facebook Friends with Patients

The British Medical Association recently advised physicians to not be Facebook friends with patients. Period. The new guidance advises doctors to adopt conservative privacy settings on their online profiles and warns physicians to respect patient confidentiality.

The group’s new social media guidance notes that “because of the power imbalance that can exist in any doctor-patient relationship,” it’s important to establish a professional boundary. And that can be tough to do given all the personal information a Facebook status-update stream can deliver.

Have you checked your Facebook privacy settings recently? To edit your privacy settings, login to your Facebook profile > go to account > privacy settings.

While friending patients on your personal Facebook profile is not recommended, having a Facebook Page for your practice is a great way to interact with both current and potential patients, share important health news, and update users about changes in your practice. Contact for tips on how to setup and optimize your practice’s Facebook Page.

Click here to read The Wall Street Journal’s article about the BMA’s new social media guidelines.

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