ECRI offers ways to reduce social media risks

January 20, 2012 in Medical Technology

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA – ECRI Institute, an independent nonprofit organization that researches the best approaches to improving patient care, has published a new risk analysis, “Social Media in Healthcare,” to help providers deal with the risks posed by social media. The institute recommends hospitals develop plans for its use.

The research, part of ECRI Institute’s Healthcare Risk Control System membership, found that hospitals and other healthcare organizations use social media in ways that attempt to meet consumer demand. ECRI Institute recommends that in doing so, hospitals must create and enforce social media plans that define how engaged the organization will be, who its audience will be, and who will be responsible for managing social media outlets, as well as establish policies and procedures for managing risks related to privacy, reputation management, and employment issues.

[See also: VA launches Facebook pages for all 152 medical centers]

Paul Anderson, ECRI Institute director, Risk Management Publications, has spoken on the topic to risk management and patient safety professionals across the country.

“I won’t tell you that you have to join Facebook or set up a Twitter account, but your patients and staff are using these tools,” Anderson said. “Healthcare managers would be shortsighted not to consider both the risks and benefits that social media presents. Yes, there are privacy and reputational risks, but social media can present tremendous opportunities for hospitals to communicate with their communities, patients, and staff.”

See Anderson on YouTube and follow him on Twitter.

[See also: ECRI Institute issues 2012 technology watch list for hospital execs]

As part of its mission to improve patient care and because this is a new risk facing healthcare providers, ECRI Institute is giving access to the complete risk analysis on Social Media at no charge. Click here for details.

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