Guide to HIPAA Violations Associated With Social Media

Even though HIPAA isn’t that old, it predates the development of social media. Social media is still susceptible to HIPAA’s violation.

You should treat HIPAA violations related to social media carefully since they are just as critical as other infractions. In this manner, you may offer competent, high-quality care.

Continue reading to find out more about social media and HIPAA.

Do Not Share PHI

The most important thing for you and your staff to keep in mind is to never utilise or disclose protected health information (PHI) on social media.

One of the top HIPAA breaches related to social media and generally is disclosing PHI. It makes no difference whether you use Facebook or Instagram or whether your account is public or private.

Social media is a place to interact with others, not to discuss medical issues. Never discuss the names, addresses, or medical histories of patients.

While discussing your job, you should avoid giving specifics on patients. Talk about your job more broadly, such as your expertise, rather than a single case.

Violations of HIPAA on social media

When thinking about HIPAA and social media, you should take into account some typical ways you can break the law. These infractions may occur unintentionally or on purpose.

You and your staff should abstain from these infractions in either case. There are more HIPAA infractions on social media, but you should be able to recognise and stay away from the most common ones.

Videos or Photos Featuring Patients or PHI

When posting on social media, there is a fine line you must also cross with regard to photographs and videos. You can upload a photo or video of yourself working at your desk or in another setting.

However, if the image or video depicts a patient, you cannot upload it. You should remove the patient from the text or edit it out if someone can identify them.

Additionally, you should refrain from sharing any images or videos that reveal PHI. If your desktop is open, taking a picture at your workstation can be acceptable. However, you should change your camera angle if you’re looking at a patient file.

No Pictures or Videos Without Written Permission

There is currently one exemption to the posting of patient images and videos. You may share a picture or video with a patient in it if you have the patient’s written authorization.

Sharing visual testimonials for your medical practise through images and films can be effective. You can request video testimonials from patients about their interactions with you.

Alternately, you may show before and after images of, say, weight loss or acne improvement. Patient success stories and testimonials are effective marketing tools.

If using such tools necessitates revealing specific individuals, you must obtain permission.

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