Intellectual Property Attorney Thomas Brooke spoke with Retinal Physician on how retina specialists and medical professionals should protect themselves from liability if they have a professional social media presence. As technology has advanced, medical professionals have turned to social media platforms to share clinical trial results, unusual presentations or visuals of a common disease or advances in medical technology. However by doing this, Mr. Brooke states that doctors can put themselves in breach of the American Medical Association if they are found to be spreading misinformation, patient information or HIPAA-related information that could result in having their medical license revoked.
"The number one concern that a physician must have when engaging in social media is patient privacy," says Mr. Brooke, "Doctors must make sure that nothing they share will violate their confidential relationships with their patients. Most physicians are wise enough to understand this — there are plenty of smaller problems that are much more likely to happen — but violating patient confidentiality or in any way running afoul of HIPAA can put a doctor’s license at risk and really cause enormous trouble."
The American Medical Association recommends that physicians review its Code of Medical Ethics which include social media practices.
READ: Weighing the Rewards and Risks of Social Media for Retina Specialists