With almost 90% of businesses on Facebook, the climate of communicating with patients has changed dramatically. It is no longer a matter of if a healthcare provider should join social media; it is a matter of when. Deciding to implement social media within healthcare is a big decision. It is a time consuming process that many providers delegate to staff members with reasonable knowledge of social media management. The problem with this has always been the inherent risk of a HIPAA violation. Many businesses using social media have unknowingly violated their patients right to privacy. With the recent release of the 500+ page HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule, those within the healthcare umbrella must prepare themselves for the upcoming changes or suffer the consequences to the tune of $1.5 million.
The benefits of social media are many. Businesses are able to continue the conversation with their patients and prospects online. They are able to share accurate healthcare information to an audience that is interested in hearing what they have to say. They are able to affordably tap into prospective patients through the endorsement of each and every fan and follower. Patients and prospects are going onto sites such as Facebook and are asking their “friends” for recommendations of medical providers. This is a huge win for medical providers who have the foresight to engage with patients online. The trick is knowing how to do this properly. For more information on how to prevent HIPAA violations when using social media, click here.
The risk of a HIPAA violation should not prevent a healthcare organization from implementing social media. It should make them be wiser in how they execute a social media marketing strategy. Businesses must be more stringent on who manages their campaign to ensure it is properly utilized. If you have questions about how to implement social media into your healthcare organization, give us a call today.