Private Practice Social Media Policy

I’ve been writing about applications and web tools that can save time and energy for medical professionals. Providing a clear social media policy has clear advantages so it’s always a pleasure to read other doctors’ own guidelines. Here is an excerpt from a recent article:

As your doctor, I might sit on the edge of your hospital bed and try to quell your fears and anxieties of being ill. Or, I might bounce into the examination room with a bright smile and try to make you laugh with one of my very funny (read: corny) jokes. We might sit together and catch up on your life over the past six months since we last saw each other. In fact, we might have a patient-physician relationship that makes other patients and physicians utterly jealous.
But, please, don’t ask me to be your friend. That is, your Facebook friend.

Keely Kolmes, PsyD has a private practice and shared her experience with using social media. This is the summary of what she published:

  • She does not accept friend requests (Facebook, LinkedIn) from current or former clients.
  • She does not allow clients to become Fans of the Facebook Page of her practice.
  • If one of her patients starts following her on Twitter, they will discuss it during the next meeting. She does not follow back.
  • She does not interact with patients on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. She encourages her patients to call her or as a secondary option, use e-mail.
  • It is not a regular part of her practice to search for clients on Google or other search engines.
  • She does not follow current or former clients on Google Reader.
  • Business review sites: She does not respond to such reviews.
  • She prefers to use e-mail only to arrange or modify appointments.

I hope to see more similar guides in the future.