Hospitals Take Note: 92% of States Report Online Violations by Physicians

flickr: Tim Morgan

Do you know what your physicians are saying online? According to a study published in the March 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, 92% of state medical boards reported inappropriate online behavior by physicians.

The most common violations were inappropriate patient communication (69%), such as sexual misconduct, and the use of the Internet for inappropriate practice (63%), such as prescribing without a clinical relationship. Many of these online violations resulted in serious disciplinary actions, including license restriction, suspension or revocation.

Although professional organizations, such as the AMA have developed social media standards, the authors of the study (S. Ryan Greysen, MD, MHS, MA; Katherine C. Chretien, MD; Terry Kind, MD, MPH; Aaron Young, PhD; and Cary P. Gross, MD, MPH) noted that licensing authorities lack formal guidelines. They advocate for regulators and physicians to address online practices, and conclude, “our findings highlight the need to promote physician understanding and self monitoring of online professionalism and to create consensus-driven, broadly disseminated principles to guide physicians toward high-integrity interactions online. Read more

How One Children’s Hospital Used Social Media to Deal with the Unthinkable


Last Friday, February 17, highly-respected Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon, called a news conference to address the unthinkable.

A male nurse in the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit had been charged with downloading and distributing child pornography.

Doernbecher did all the right things. They issued a news release, held a news conference, posted Frequently Asked Questions regarding the case on their website, set up a telephone hotline for anyone who had questions and mailed 10,000 letters to families whose children had been treated at the hospital during the time the nurse was employed. Read more

Farewell: 5 Social Media Lessons I’ve Learned as Social Media Mentor

Kelly Merrick

Well, folks, this is my final blog post on behalf of Hive Strategies. I’ve taken a new job and am moving to Portland, Oregon, with my husband Josh.

I have really enjoyed my position as Social Media Mentor for Hive Strategies, especially being able to help our clients navigate through the social media world.

I have also learned a lot through the blogs I have written and read, and thought that it would be an appropriate time to share some of the most important things I’ve learned about social media. Read more

Tweet Chats 101: What They Are and Why You Should Participate

Every Friday from 10 to 11 a.m. west coast time, my Twitter feed lights up with Tweets referencing #hcmktg, signaling to me that the weekly healthcare social media marketing Tweet chat has started.

If you haven’t heard of a Tweet chat, it’s a lot like a chat room within Twitter. Tweet chats use a pre-determined hashtag to engage a group of people in a real-time conversation at a specified time. To participate in the chat, all you have to do is create a new column in your TweetDeck, Hootsuite or other feature like TweetChat, and track the specific hashtag. Then, when you want to participate, all you have to do is Tweet using that hashtag and anyone else participating in that chat can read and respond to your Tweet.

It is important to know that a Twitter chat is different than simply using a hashtag to label one of your Tweets. It is real time. For example, if you choose to add the hashtag #hcmktg to one of your Tweets on a Tuesday morning, it will not show up in the Tweet chat on Friday. Read more

Don’t Stop At the Bottom of the Hill: The Meaningful Work of Hospital Social Media

A photo of wheat I took on our ride this morning.

I’ve had an injured right leg since the winter, brought on by a rotating hip that was throwing off my stride. I haven’t run since December. Or done much other exercise, since anything, even walking, aggravated my pain.

After some therapy, rest, and a joyful “Get to it!” from my doctor, I am now clear to slowly work my way back into shape. The problem is that I am now heavier than when I was running regularly. Not a lot, but six-ish pounds on a small frame is significant enough. Combine that with sluggish, underused muscles, and the prospect of going for a run isn’t as appealing as it was half a year ago, when my mouth watered at the sight of other people running when I was forbidden.

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