5 tips for the online healthcare professional
Patty Williams | posted April 26, 2012 |
Many years ago, I used to hear a saying that “the news of today is lining the wastepaper baskets of tomorrow.” This literally meant that what people were talking about in the newspapers today would be lining the trashcan the next day.
But that is not so today which is an age of digital content and social conversations where news from ten years ago is available online and searchable within a few clicks. And the “news” is not coming from newspapers anymore, either. With Facebook, Twitter, and thousands of other sites and blogs, we make our own news, sometimes with a detrimental personal effect.
This is where prudence comes into play for the savvy healthcare professional, who will want to watch with care what is posted about him or her online. Your digital footprint is something you should monitor regularly and protect. This is not only to guard your reputation, but also to take the safety precautions. Here are a few guidelines to get you started.
1. Don't post information, stories or pictures relating to or about your patients without their express, written consent. Not only could you be violating trust, you could be violating the law and putting your job at risk.
2. Be professional in your public posts. No bad-mouthing, discriminating or offensive rants. Just ask yourself, “Would I want my employer and patients to read this?”
3. Use your privacy filters. Many social media sites like Facebook offer the opportunity to set a level of privacy so that only people you choose can see a post. If you want to take a stance on a political issue, for instance, you might consider doing that behind a privacy filter.
4. Don't post locations where you practice or your personal address. This is a basic safety precaution that women, in particular, need to follow.
5. Be careful about the message you are sending out to the world about yourself. Be cognizant of photos that you and your friends are posting of you online. How does that reflect your professional image? Will this impact future job interviews? These are questions to ask yourself before you upload or update a social media site.
The digital world is real-time and can be a wonderful source of entertainment and connectivity with friends, families and other like-minded people. Practicing just a bit of caution and being educated on the accessibility of your information will keep protect you and your professional reputation for years, and perhaps generations to come.
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It's National Occupational Therapy Month! | posted March 28, 2013
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