10 Rules Practices and Physicians Should Follow on Social Media

Promote My Practice encourages practice managers in our program to not only inform their physicians that the practice is taking a dive into the social media pool, but also educate and excite them about the process.  Along with getting our physicians enthused, we need to let them know some basic rules to live by in the social media space.

Kevin MD posted an article listing out 10 simple rules for doctors who are on social media.  Check out the list with our thoughts on each item below!

1. Don’t fear social media. This one is a doozey. It is totally logical for a physician to think that if they don’t enter the online space, then there is no conversation happening, but this could not be further from the truth. Profiles for physicians and practices are everywhere and need to be claimed so that you can manage and update them.

2. Never post while angry. This is common sense, but still needs to be noted. Make sure you are objective and calm before posting.

3. Accuracy is vital. You may not be a journalist, but you should strive to uphold a certain quality of writing. Typos can and should be avoided. Always have more than one pair of eyes review your content before posting.

4. Sleep on it. Remember that what you put online will exist forever; take the time to think about what you want to say.

5. Never identify a patient. Be careful to not speak in terms of when you saw a patient, or at what time. Anything that can identify a patient is a no-no. 

6. Ask for permission. If you want to write about a specific case, get permission from the patient first.

7. Respect. It is crucial to carry yourself online in the same manner you carry yourself in person. It can be easy to fall behind the screen and forget that your words have consequences, but they do. Treat everyone you come into contact with online with respect.

8. Assume beneficence. Resist the urge to toss stones at anyone.  Support your fellow medical professionals.

9. Patients and “friends” should be kept separate. Obviously some of your patients are in fact your friends, but try to steer your patients to your professional pages, rather than your personal ones.

10. Never stop learning. Social Media is constantly evolving. No one knows it all, but try to stay up-to date with the latest news that may affect your online presence. 

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