Social Media and Social Networking in Medical Practices

What healthcare providers should do

  • Use separate personal and professional social networking sites. For example, use a personal rather than professional e-mail address for logging on to social networking websites for personal use.
  • Always adhere to the same principles of professionalism online as you would offline.
  • Refer, as appropriate, to your employer’s social media or social networking policy for direction on the proper use of social media and social networking in relation to your employment.
  • Report any unprofessional behavior to supervisory and/or regulatory authorities.

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What we do

The Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline authority to discipline physicians for unprofessional behavior relating to the inappropriate use of social networking media, such as:

  • Inappropriate communication with patients online;
  • Use of the Internet for unprofessional behavior;
  • Online misrepresentation of credentials;
  • Online violations of patient confidentiality;
  • Failure to reveal conflicts of interest online;
  • Online derogatory remarks regarding a patient;
  • Online depiction of intoxication;
  • Discriminatory language or practices online.