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Social Media Tripwires and Online Effectiveness: Toolkits for Doctors, Hospitals and Healthcare Marketing Communicators

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer
orange toolbox with wrench


Two interesting online publications popped-up on the healthcare marketing and advertising radar last week, and they may be useful for hospitals, doctors and communication professionals.

Legal Implications of Social Media: The Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) responded to member inquiries about using social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to help market their practice and engaging patients online without setting off legal and ethical tripwires.

The medical association’s guidelines observe that: “Physicians and office staff posting to social media, Wikipedia and online patient privacy laws and therefore should exercise caution,” according to one news item.

"Physicians should look to update their policies, procedures and employee manuals to govern what's acceptable and not acceptable behavior," reported OSMA General Counsel Nancy Gillette, who co-wrote the guidelines, according to the AMA report. "We're not saying to shut down social media use, but rather to engage it and get in front of it and manage it," Gillette said. This toolkit can be found on the OSMA website.

Improving Effectiveness in Communications: The Health Communicator’s Social Media Toolkit is also new for your bookshelf. This one’s from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of their Gateway to Health Communications & Social Marketing Practice page.

This toolkit is an introductory perspective about using social media effectively in health and healthcare educational and information programs. The purpose: A guide to using social media to improve reach of health messages, increase access to your content, further participation with audiences and advance transparency to improve health communication efforts. The CDC publication is available here.

And for more about using social media correctly, effectively and profitably, see this page at Healthcare Success.

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