MCSMN Blog

August 27, 2010

Friday Faux Pas: Nurse posts OR pics to Facebook

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As reported on e-Health Insider in January:

A nurse has been suspended following reports that she took photos of patients having operations and posted them on a social networking site.

The member of staff from Southern General Hospital in Glasgow allegedly secretly took the pictures without other members of staff knowing and posted them on Facebook.

It is believed that the photographs were taken using a mobile phone and were spotted on the internet by one of the nurse’s colleagues.

Analysis:

As in the first of our Friday Faux Pas, this is a case in which the problem wasn't with social media, but the fact that the nurse was taking the pictures in the first place.

Facebook just brought the misconduct to light.

Note also that the photo wasn't posted to the hospital's Facebook page, but rather to the employee's personal profile. So whether the hospital was officially "on" Facebook by having its own page or not, it still was at risk of a patient privacy breach.

Smart phones will only become more prevalent over time. And even ordinary phones almost all have camera capabilities today.

Your best chance to avoid a Faux Pas is to not avoid engagement, but to train your employees in the right way to use the tools.

Accepting Nominations:

If you are aware of an example that fits the Friday Faux Pas theme, please send your nomination, including relevant links to the on-line stories. Include your analysis of the issue, too. It may be featured in a future post.

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