New guidance has been published to help doctors and health professionals navigate the world of social media. The Royal College of GPs had produced the Social Media Highway Code, with advice to help and encourage health professionals to communicate effectively using social media.
The support is built around ten guidelines, which include recognising that the personal and the professional can’t always be separated, the need to engage with the public and show your human side, but maintain professional boundaries and respect the privacy of patients.
The guide was published in draft form last October, in collaboration with Doctors.net.uk and Lime Green Media. It has since been updated to include suggestions and information from a range of health expertise around the world.
Dr Ben Riley, lead-author of the Code and Curriculum Director for the RCGP said: “The interest and feedback we have received from healthcare professionals across the globe has been fantastic. There are many opportunities for GPs and other healthcare professionals to take the lead in developing how social media can be used to improve healthcare.
“At the same time healthcare professionals need to protect their patients and support each other with using these new ways of communicating. The Code has a practical focus and addresses a number of the challenging areas that GPs and other healthcare professionals have been asking about for some time.”