Posted on January 19, 2016
A negative review. A bad comment. An inappropriate post. These are all reasons why many healthcare organizations are reluctant to become too active on social media. Because nobody can control everything that is being said.
However, since social media is such a large part of people's everyday lives - and a tool many use to make buying decisions - your healthcare facility can't afford not to be active. That's why it's important to have a comprehensive social media policy that everyone in your facility is familiar with.
A written policy can protect both your facility and your employees. Here are four important components that your policy should include:
1. An online employee code of conduct and potential disciplinary measures for violations of the code of conduct.
- Employees can associate themselves with the facility online, but must make it clear that their opinions are personal and do not represent the facility.
- Employees cannot share sensitive or confidential information, especially in relation to patient care.
2. Employee social media usage guidelines.
- Only members of the marketing department or designated social media team can post on the facility's social media channels.
- Personal social media use cannot disrupt workplace productivity or performance level.
3. The approval process for online content.
- Outline who has final approval of online content that directly represents the facility.
- List who in the facility is approved to post content on behalf of the facility.
4. A crisis management plan.
- Clearly identify who in the organization should be notified regarding a negative or inappropriate social media post, who will respond to the post and what potential responses are.
Once your social media policy is created and approved, the next step is ensuring all employees are aware of the new policy. A good way to do this is by including it in the employee handbook and/or employment agreement.