There have been a number of stories in the media about EMS personnel misusing social networks and creating social media that violate patient confidentiality, embarrass their services, and place both their services and themselves at risk for liability. Although, these cases are the extreme minority of what occurs in online EMS Social circles, the spotlight of the mainstream media has slanted the perception of the size of the problem.
Back in June Mark Glencorse bid farewell to the blogosphere. What was so very disturbing about this situation is that Mark adheres to the Healthcare Blogger Code Of Ethics. By following that code of ethics Mark insured that he would be blogging responsibly. This, in theory, would make it harder for the blogging and Social Media opponents to negatively impact him for his activities… yet he still felt the need to stop blogging.
Last week Mark triumphantly announced his return to the EMS Blogosphere. This strengthens the argument that the entire online EMS community is not automatically evil and that being responsible for what we do online is often our best defense in situations like that.
The truth is though that the majority of online activities that EMS providers partake in are not necessarily blogging. Because of that, here are some lists of basic behavior guidelines for EMS providers while online:
The Do Nots Of Online Behavior
To be responsible on Social Networks and in the creation of Social Media, here is a list of things not to do online:
- Do Not Share Confidential Information
- Do Not Defame
- Do Not Use Profanity
- Do Not Be Destructive
- Do Not Engage In Online Activities At Inappropriate Times
The Dos Of Online Behaviour
Here is a list of things that you should be doing while engaging online:
- Be Genuine
- Be Polite
- Be A Participant
- Be Constructive
- Communicate Effectively