Navigation Links
ACP and FSMB encourage doctors to 'pause before posting' and not 'friend' patients in policy paper
Date:4/11/2013

April 11, 2013 -- The creation and use of information online and the widespread use of the Internet offer exciting new opportunities for patient care, but also require physicians to consider how to best protect patient interests and apply principles of professionalism to online settings, the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) said today in a newly released policy paper, "Online Medical Professionalism: Patient and Public Relationships."

"Digital communications and social media use continue to increase in popularity among the public and the medical profession," said Phyllis Guze, MD, FACP, chair, Board of Regents, ACP. "This policy paper provides needed guidance on best practices to inform standards for the professional conduct of physicians online."

Published online today at http://www.acponline.org and http://www.annals.org and in the April 16 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, the paper examines and provides recommendations regarding the influence of social media on the patient-physician relationship. It also addresses the role of online media and public perception of physician behaviors and strategies for patient-physician communications that preserve confidentiality while best utilizing new technologies.

"It is important for physicians to be aware of the implications for confidentiality and how the use of online media for non-clinical purposes impacts trust in the medical profession," said Humayun Chaudhry, DO, MS, FACP, president and CEO, FSMB.

Notable recommendations from ACP and FSMB include:

  • Physicians should keep their professional and personal personas separate. Physicians should not "friend" or contact patients through personal social media.

  • Physicians should not use text messaging for medical interactions even with an established patient except with extreme caution and consent by the patient.

  • E-mail or other electronic communications should only be used by physicians within an established patient-physician relationship and with patient consent.

  • Situations in which a physician is approached through electronic means for clinical advice in the absence of a patient-physician relationship should be handled with judgment and usually should be addressed with encouragement that the individual schedule an office visit or, in the case of an urgent matter, go to the nearest emergency department.

  • Establishing a professional profile so that it "appears" first during a search, instead of a physician ranking site, can provide some measure of control that the information read by patients prior to the initial encounter or thereafter is accurate.

  • Many trainees may inadvertently harm their future careers by not responsibly posting material or actively policing their online content. Educational programs stressing a pro-active approach to digital image (online reputation) are good forums to introduce these potential repercussions.

The paper includes a chart of online activities, potential benefits and dangers, and recommended safeguards for physician behavior.

For example, communicating with patients using e-mail offers the potential benefits of greater accessibility and immediacy of answers to non-urgent issues. The potential dangers are confidentiality concerns, replacement of face-to-face or phone interaction, and ambiguity or misinterpretation of digital interactions. The safeguards include reserving digital communications for patients that maintain face-to-face follow-up only.

The paper was authored by ACP's Ethics, Professionalism and Human Rights Committee; ACP's Council of Associates; and FSMB's Committee on Ethics and Professionalism.


'/>"/>

Contact: Steve Majewski
smajewski@acponline.org
415-978-3714
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. ICAP study uses novel incentive to encourage HIV patient care and treatment
2. Does gallows humor among physicians encourage accusations of murder and euthanasia?
3. Wright & Schulte LLC Encourages Drivers to Review Safe Winter Driving Tips
4. Family Meals Encourage Kids to Eat More Veggies, Fruit: Study
5. Doctors Encourage Treatment for Shingles to Be Started When the Pain Kicks in – VyGone Introduces Shingles Vaccine
6. VetDepot Encourages Owners to Include Pets in New Year’s Resolutions
7. Westminster Pediatrician Residents Love Encourages Flu Shots for the Whole Family at Indian Crest Pediatrics
8. ASTER ELLIOTT, CNC a Nationwide Provider of Detoxification and Cleanse products, launches online Affiliate Program to promote and encourage healthy living
9. Cunningham Financial Group Encourages Women to Celebrate “Cervical Health Awareness Month” by Following Important Health Tips
10. Hearing Aid Device Expert of Upstate Hearing Instruments Provides 7 Key Tips to Encourage Hearing Aid Adoption within the Elderly Populations
11. Local Texas Insurance Agency, Noltensmeyer Insurance Services, Encourages Residents to Update Insurance Policies for 2013
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, ... ... School of Pharmacy (SOP) alumni Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and Jennifer Huggins, ... professionals on guideline updates for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases during ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care for ... a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. , ... care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said Mechell ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many kids this ... by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids excited about ... ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having fun and ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... and Agile Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center for ... Agreement (BPA) aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... WILMINGTON, Del. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... technology and advisory services for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range ... and National Association for Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/5/2017)... Ill. , Oct. 5, 2017  In ... Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) released ... opioids – to be used as a first-line ... pain. Recognizing ... the AAOMS White Paper "Opioid Prescribing: Acute and ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017  Eli Lilly and ... financial results for the third quarter of 2017 on ... conference call on that day with the investment community ... The conference call will begin at 9 ... can access a live webcast of the conference call ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... 2017 Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early Signal ... wearable and home sensors for real-time monitoring of patients ... a nonprofit organization focused on disruptive health solutions for ... analytical system to record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, physiological ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: