How to write an essay on Social Media Usage in healthcare

How to write an essay on Social Media Usage in healthcare

Social media use in healthcare has its advantages and its limitations in organizations, especially healthcare organizations. In healthcare settings, various guidelines have been put in place to control its use in the healthcare environment. These guidelines ensure that the patients protected health information is safeguarded and that employees do not tarnish the organization’s image by revealing crucial information about the healthcare practices, members and the management. The main legal and ethical implications arise when individuals breach the security and the confidentiality of identifiable health information via online networks and platforms. In the modern world, many employers access potential employees’ social media networks before recruiting them. They need to understand the behaviours and how the individual utilizes social media use.  There are various relationships between accreditation decisions, reimbursement quality of care and informatics.

Hospital policy on social media use

Various confidentiality, privacy and security policies govern the use of sensitive health information should be added regarding social media use. Confidentiality laws are rules that limit access to sensitive health information between the interdisciplinary team and the patient (Moore & Frye, 2019). A healthcare team member should not reveal information over the social media platform. The pictures taken in the healthcare setting environment should not contain any patient identifiable information. The policy will ensure pictures posted on online networks do not breach patient confidentiality (NSU, 2019). If someone has to use the information for other useful purposes, they must inform the patient who needs to permit them. Healthcare professionals with access to patient records need to hold the information in confidence. The professional association code of ethics guides the need to hold patient information with confidentiality. The interdisciplinary team must defend and uphold the patient’s right to doctrine confidentiality in disclosing and using sensitive health information.

The privacy policy governs the team’s use of sensitive patient information in healthcare. Healthcare professionals need to respect the right of a patient or client to make decisions about who can have access to their sensitive health information (Festag & Spreckelsen, 2020). While using sensitive health information to enhance safety and healthcare outcomes, the interprofessional team must protect patients’ privacy.  Individuals have a right to control the access of their health information and the request to amend inaccurate health information. The privacy should be ensured during social media use. The patient information should be held with privacy and should only be shared with individuals directly involved in providing healthcare services to the patient.

Security policy will also govern the use of sensitive health information in healthcare.  Healthcare professionals have a right to protect the privacy of sensitive health information. They need to protect sensitive health information from unauthorized use, disclosure, access, destruction, modification or disruption (Shabbir et al., 2021). This is achieved by ensuring the availability, integrity and confidentiality of sensitive health information. While using social media, security laws will hinder individuals from sharing patients information with the general public or other individuals not related to the patient.

Other policies will be related to posting photos, sharing information and friending. In posting photos in healthcare settings, policies need to be put in place that requires individuals to ask for permission from individuals captured in the photo before posting the information over social media platforms.  They should also ensure that no patient information or image appears in the photograph. Doing so safeguards the organization from privacy liabilities and human resource problems.

While sharing information, the staff need to ensure that the information shared does not reveal the working conditions and important information about crucial processes. This will ensure the secrets of the organization processes are not revealed to other competitors in the same healthcare business.  Because of this, the organization need to set a policy that clearly outlines the type of information that can be shared via social media platforms.

Friending is another key element that should be addressed in the healthcare setting. On some occasions, patients may feel connected to their primary caregivers due to the level of patient-centred care they received while in the healthcare setting. While at home, these patients may search the healthcare provider’s information on social media platforms. Healthcare providers should not accept any request for friendship in any way, including over social media platforms. This policy should be put in place, including the penalties for breaching.

. Finally, policies need to be put in place to avoid spamming and abusive content on the members of healthcare organizations.  Individuals are needed to use technology as an effective communication tool and avoid spamming or other misuses. When an employee of an organization engages in abusive and vulgar language over social media platforms, it may tarnish the organization’s reputation.

Potential legal and ethical liabilities

Breaching of the organization’s social media use may have various legal and ethical liabilities to the perpetrators. Legal issues refer to those violations that may require the decision of a law court. The healthcare organization or any other individual affected by the breach may file a lawsuit. If the individuals are proven guilty, they will be required to either pay a fine or be imprisoned. Various penalties exist within the legal framework; hence the case may determine the nature of the harm and its possible effects before the individual may suffer consequences ranging from penalties and jail terms.  The licensing body may also withdraw the license of the perpetrators after investigation.

In some cases, the individuals may be given a warning, or even their practising licenses be withdrawn. Some can be placed on probation.  The penalties range from not knowing the violations, due to reasonable course, willful neglect and willful neglect but do not correct. The ethical liabilities involve informed consent, privacy, security, confidentiality and the morality of the scenario.  The case will be analyzed using various ethical guidelines, and if the participants are found responsible, they will suffer consequences. The consequences may include being fired from the healthcare organization.

The right to access social media posts

I believe that employers, colleges and other recruiting agencies should have the right of reviewing the potential students of employee’s social media posts for many reasons.  Firstly the posts posted on social media platforms are not confidential or private. Individuals who post information on social media platforms do so to allow others to access the information. This means that the college or the employing body have the right to access the information as everyone else. Secondly, by reviewing the information, these individuals can understand the individuals better. They can gain some insights into their behaviours, their relationships and their moral behaviours. These aspects may enable them to identify if they are well suited for the job or comfortable in the program they are about to be admitted to.  In colleges, an individual’s behaviour may help the colleges find out if the student will be well equipped to do the course they are being admitted to. Different courses require different levels of commitment and different behaviours. For example, if a student about to be admitted to a medical course is posted frequently being drunk or spending most of the time clubbing, the college may deny the student the chance and advise them to join other courses. Substance use in healthcare is not tolerated as it may impact individuals’ ability to make rational decisions. Equally, individuals who party too much may not have sufficient time allocated for studying. There are also other behaviours that may determine the professionalism of the individuals.

Reviewing the social media post may also allow the bodies to scrutinize the potential student or employee’s behaviour before informing them of their policies regarding social media use. For example, in healthcare, the human resource department may find out that when the potential employees continue with the pattern of social media use, they may be breaching certain organizational policies. They can then inform them on what they need to change and post once the organization recruits them. This will make the individuals aware of the guidelines and the potential legal and ethical liabilities.

Decisions based on the posts

I feel that employers and universities should not make decisions based on the post we put on our social media platforms. Before they make the decisions, they need to allow the individuals to defend themselves and explain the context of the post. Some of the posts may be dated a long time ago may be the individual has changed their behaviours currently. When the employers understand the context of the post, they may change their decision regarding denying the individuals an opportunity to work or study. The decisions should not just be based on viewing the post individuals should be given a chance to explain themselves.

Relationship between accreditation decisions, reimbursement, quality of care and informatics

Informatics, quality of care, accredited decisions and reimbursements are directly related with regards to healthcare.  Informatics involves the use of numerous technologies and engineered computational systems. Accredited decisions grant particular healthcare services to be involved in certain activities or access certain services (Jha, 2018). Quality care involves providing care to the patients efficiently and effectively to guaranty positive care outcomes and patient satisfaction. Reimbursements are the act of relevant insurance and Medicaid services to pay for patients healthcare expenses. The relationship between these elements can be shown in various ways. Firstly informatics is related to reimbursement. Informatics provides a structured method for coding and documenting clinical procedures to allow reimbursement bodies to decide on the price of healthcare services. Informatics provides a mechanism for determining the cost of healthcare services. This allows for reimbursement of the right amount to the patient and healthcare organization.  Accreditation decisions ensure that healthcare organizations provide quality healthcare services. Similarly, accreditation decisions can be made to establish which healthcare institutions can access certain reimbursements. This allows the patient to go to accredited organizations to use their medical cover to pay for their medical bills.  Informatics may also determine the quality of services provided. Informatics involves the use of modern technology to improve the quality of healthcare to the patient. Most of the technologies reduce medical errors and facilitates the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare interventions.


Social media usage is increasingly becoming common in healthcare settings. Healthcare organizations and relevant bodies need to set policies to govern social media use in the healthcare setting. Universities and employers can review individuals’ posts before granting them a job or place to study. However, they should not only base their decisions on the post. They need to involve the participants and explain what they meant and the differences in circumstances.


Festag, S., & Spreckelsen, C. (2020). Privacy-preserving deep learning for the detection of protected health information in real-world data: Comparative evaluation. JMIR Formative Research4(5), e14064.

Moore, W., & Frye, S. (2019). Review of HIPAA, part 1: history, protected health information, and privacy and security rules. Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology47(4), 269-272.

Northeastern State University (2019, March 6). How to avoid HIPAA violations (it’s not easy as you think).

Shabbir, M., Shabbir, A., Iwendi, C., Javed, A. R., Rizwan, M., Herencsar, N., & Lin, J. C. W. (2021). Enhancing the security of health information using modular encryption standards in mobile cloud computing. IEEE Access9, 8820-8834.

Jha, A. K. (2018). Accreditation, quality, and making hospital care better. Jama320(23), 2410-2411.

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