Can a Healthcare Facility Use Facebook’s Live Video Streaming Feature?

By: Emily Williams

Can a healthcare facility use Facebook’s live video streaming-

With Facebook’s recent launch of its live video streamer, every Facebook user can now be a real-time social media reporter for all sorts of life events. In direct competition to other real-time video platforms like Periscope, Facebook is opening up the world to all kinds of personal, immediate and – let’s face it –  probably TMI news (Exhibit A: Ricky Gervais taking a bath).

(Here are Facebook’s instructions for how to share live video on your page.)

For many companies, real-time, instant social media posts (whether content, videos or pictures) can be a real winner. For example, Oreo’s “You can still dunk in the dark” tweet during the power outage of Superbowl XLVII is still revered for its social media timeliness three years later. In social media world, that’s a lifetime!

However, instant social media posts can also be a liability. A tweet that sounds insensitive, a picture that includes something inappropriate… just scroll through your social media news feed. There are bound to be posts that people – or maybe even companies – regret.

And, oh, how live video streaming opens up the door of regrets even wider!

So this begs the question:

Can a healthcare facility use Facebook’s live video streaming feature?

The answer is yes. However, there are many if’s and but’s that go along with that.

There are obvious benefits of live streaming content.

BUT you have to be so, so, so careful.

Don’t forget:

  • Get approval from your leadership before you broadcast anything live on your facility’s page.
  • HIPAA absolutely applies to live videos. Our company requires signed waivers for each person in your video (even if they are not the main subject of the video… even if that person is just partially shown in a crowd in the edge of your video for two seconds).
  • Your video is instantly public. It’s live. Don’t video any situations that you feel could get out of control quickly.
  • Is this video something that you want to rehearse? If so, maybe live streaming isn’t best. You can still upload a regular video to your page.
  • Yes, it’s live. But it needs to be planned. Know what you are filming, who is involved and the overall game plan before the broadcast begins.
  • This video represents your brand. Make sure it is clean and professional in nature.

As you can see, live broadcasting isn’t easy. But some things are just better live. Here are a few things that your facility may consider broadcasting live:

  • An entertainment event at your facility that some patients are unable to attend (i.e. a concert, a puppet show, etc.)
  • A ribbon cutting or awards ceremony
  • An interview with a physician or patient
  • Any other major milestone

For a healthcare facility, the most important thing is to have your ducks in a row before you broadcast.

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