How Doctors Can Avoid Social Media HIPAA Violations: It’s Not Rocket Science

flickr: ttarasiuk

The case of a Rhode Island physician fired and fined for violating HIPAA regulations on her personal Facebook page may have the unfortunate effect of discouraging some hospitals from embracing social media.

It shouldn’t. By following simple steps, the physician and hospital could have avoided the entire fiasco.

Here is what we know. According to the Boston Globe:

Dr. Alexandra Thran, 48, was fired from the hospital last year and reprimanded by the state medical board last week. The hospital took away her privileges to work in the emergency room for posting information online about a trauma patient.

Thran’s posting did not include the patient’s name, but she wrote enough that others in the community could identify the patient, according to a board filing. Thran, who did not return calls for comment yesterday, also was fined $500. Read more