How Can My Social Media Lead to a Medical Misconduct Claim?

Generally speaking, it is best to be mindful of what you post on your social media platforms. But this is especially true if you work in a profession that is vulnerable to lawsuits, such as an attorney or even a physician. Continue reading to learn how your social media usage might lead to a medical misconduct claim against you and how one of the experienced New York physician defense lawyers at Walker Medical Law can come to your aid.

How might my social media result in a medical misconduct claim?

Essentially, as a physician, you are obligated to abide by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This is a federal law that enforces national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed. This means that if you post anything having to do with your patients and their health conditions, then they may accuse you of a HIPAA violation.

In turn, one of your patients may file a complaint with the New York State Department of Health’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) or Office of Professional Discipline (OPD). From here, the OPMC and OPD may be prompted to run an investigation against you. This may entail looking into your social media activity. This is all to say that your improper posting on social media may ultimately lead to the OPMC or OPD revoking your medical license.

As a physician, what are the best practices for social media use?

Your social media platforms may be a great way to educate your patients, along with learning from your peers and colleagues. However, this is only if you use it appropriately. Without further ado, below is a list of the best practices for social media use for physicians:

  • It is best to not take photos or videos during your working hours. With this, you should definitely not post any of them.
  • It is best to not share anecdotes about your patients on your social media accounts. With this, it does not matter if you keep them anonymous.
  • It is best to keep your personal social media accounts separate from your professional accounts. With this, you should keep all your accounts in private mode.
  • It is best to avoid giving medical advice online. This is so you do not inadvertently establish a physician-patient relationship with any of your followers.
  • It is best to include disclaimers that your posts are not meant to be interpreted as medical advice. With this, you should guide your followers to the proper channels (i.e., their personal healthcare provider, a certain health center, etc).

For your medical misconduct defense, please consider contacting one of the skilled New York physician defense lawyers. Our team at Walker Medical Law is ready and willing to assist you.