In today's digital age, social media plays a significant role in communication. It's crucial for everyone associated with the UB School of Dental Medicine to be aware of our Social Media Guidelines. These guidelines address considerations for our organization, our services, our employees, our partners, and most importantly, our patients. Before engaging on social media, it's essential to understand the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) social media rules, as well as our general guidelines and resources.
The UBSDM Clinic Manual explicitly prohibits the use of personal mobile devices in clinical areas. It also categorizes "voluntarily allowing or participating in inappropriate dissemination of confidential patient information" as unethical and unacceptable behavior. (See SDM Clinic Manual - pages 28 and 67 for more details.)
Photos taken in healthcare environments can expose both you and the university to HIPAA violations. It is imperative to never disclose protected health information (PHI) on social media.
Do not discuss confidential information. Follow standards of patient privacy and confidentiality, adhering to regulations outlined in HIPAA and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Recognize that you could personally face a HIPAA violation if there are enough details in your posts for patients to recognize themselves.
The properties and buildings of our partner institutions and hospitals are private spaces. We do not have permission to take or share photos of subjects and the interiors of those private spaces.
If you are in doubt about whether you can take/post photos or videos from your location, do not take or post the photograph or video.
This non-exhaustive list includes many of our partner institutions and hospitals. Do not take or post photographs from any of these locations:
These guidelines are designed to ensure that your engagement on social media reflects positively on UB School of Dental Medicine while protecting the privacy and interests of patients and the university. Always use social media responsibly and professionally.
These lists highlight some but not all issues surrounding the use of social media in health care environments and communication.