Social Media 1
Social media describes a means of interaction among individuals, where people generate, share and exchange data and ideas in virtual communities. In using the social media, it is possible to create and exchange user-generated content. Examples of social media entail Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace amongst others. These help in reaching a targeted audience within an exceedingly short time.
The use of the social media in the health care system is on the increase. The utilization of the social media in the health care system has provided several benefits. One of the benefits of using the social media in healthcare is that it fosters professional connections. Through the social media, healthcare professionals can exchange their expertise regarding a certain issue of concern (Black & Chitty, 2013). For example, in case there is an issue that has given a certain health care professional problems, the issue can be discussed through the social media in order to get opinions of experts. Therefore, through the social media, healthcare professionals are capable of connecting and sharing their expertise.
Another benefit that emanates from the use of the social media is enhancing of timely communication between health care professionals and patients. Through the social media, patients can directly connect with health care professionals without the need to travel to the physical location, where health care professionals can be found. This gives an opportunity to patients in having timely treatment (Nelson et al, 2011). Besides, through using the social media in healthcare, consumers are likely to become educated through fostering health education forums. The social media can reach a vast number of consumers, which implies that a vast number of individuals is likely to benefit from health care education forum shared via the social media. In addition, healthcare professionals are also likely to become educated through health education forums shared via the social media (Fraser & Sigma Theta Tau International, 2011).
Although health care organizations encourage the use of the social media, there is a need for the adoption of some policies that can guard towards the confidentiality and privacy of patients and employees’ data. One such policy entails restricting nurses from using a patient’s identity without the full consent of the patient. This will help in safeguarding the information of patients, thus maintaining privacy and confidentiality. In case a nurse uses a patient’s information without the patient’s consent, the nurse is liable for infringing the patient’s privacy (Nelson et al, 2011). This will help in keeping information of patients private and confidential. For example, if a nurse discloses that a certain patient has a chronic disease without the consent of the patient, then the nurse will be accountable for infringing the patient’s right of privacy. Therefore, through violating this social media policy, the nurse is likely to face judgement in a court of law, where payment of damages to the inflicted patient will be a possible remedy.
Besides, in using the social media, physicians, nurses and other health care employees should not be permitted to use the computers of a health care organization in accessing some websites. The policy governing the use of some websites linked with the organization will aid in maintaining patients’ information, which will maintain their privacy. For example, health care organizations must restrict health care employees from accessing websites containing patients’ disease history. Accessing such websites may expose patients’ information. In case health care employees fail to adhere to this policy, the health care organization should dismiss the health care professional.
Black, B. P., & Chitty, K. K. (2013). Professional nursing: Concepts & challenges. St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier.
Fraser, R., & Sigma Theta Tau International. (2011). The nurse’s social media advantage: How making connections and sharing ideas can enhance your nursing career. Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International.
NCSBN’s White Paper: A Nurse’s Guide to the Use of Social Media. Retrieved from HYPERLINK “https://www.ncsbn.org/Social_Media.pdf” https://www.ncsbn.org/Social_Media.pdf
Nelson, R., Joos, I. M., & Wolf, D. M. (2013). Social media for nurses: Educating practitioners and patients in a networked world. New York, NY: Springer Pub. Co.