Notification on Professional Obligation When Using Social Media

Posted on: May 22nd, 2015      Author: tshewang

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Bhutan Medical and Health Council (BMHC) have mandate to inform and educate in regard to the professionals obligation when using social media.

These tools (Social Media) e.g Bhutan Telemedicine Group can be used to improve or enhance professional networking and education, patient care, patient education, and public health programs. However, they also present potential risks to patients and Health Care Professionals regarding the distribution of poor-quality information, damage to professional image, breaches of patient privacy, violation of personal–professional boundaries, and  legal issues.

Consequences of misusing social media platforms can be stiff and are unexpected… a medical and health professionals could face personal liability and be sued for defamation, invasion of privacy, or harassment.

Therefore, the Medical and Health Professionals shall:

  1.  recognize that you have an ethical and legal obligation to maintain patient privacy and confidentiality at all times.
  2.  not transmit, by way of any electronic media, any patient-related information or image that is reasonably anticipated to violate patient rights to confidentiality or privacy.
  3.  not share, post, or otherwise disseminate any information, including images, about a patient or information gained in the during the care with anyone unless there is a patient care related need to disclose the information or other legal obligation to do.
  4. not identify patients by name, or post or publish information that may lead to identification of a patient.
  5.  not refer to patients in a disparaging manner, even if they are not identified.
  6.  not take photos or videos of patients on personal devices, including mobile devices.
  7.   consult employer policies or an appropriate leader within the organization for guidance regarding work-related postings .
  8. not make disparaging remarks about employers or coworkers and institutions.

As an individual you have right to give your opinion but have an ethical and legal obligation .All registered medical and health professionals are governed by BMHC ACT, Kingdom of Bhutan and Regulations.

Thanking you and we look forward for your cooperation.