Protecting Patient Info in the Age of Social Media

Health Care Law360

Pamela Tyner, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the Houston office, wrote an article titled "Protecting Patient Info in the Age of Social Media." (Read the full version - subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Social media has become de rigueur globally. Today, millions maintain connections with their friends, relatives and business acquaintances via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and YouTube. Recent studies indicate that social media popularity even predicts polling popularity and the stock market.

Translated to the health care arena, health care facilities and organizations are now trained to promote their business by communicating effectively via social media. In addition, patients, physicians and employees of health care facilities and organizations frequently communicate and discuss patient status via cell phones, Facebook, YouTube and other social media.

However, many people do not realize that use of these media may compromise health information privacy unless certain protections are implemented to safeguard them.