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May 6, 2015

Unifying Guideline: Follow All Applicable Mayo Clinic Policies

By Lee Aase, Director, Mayo Clinic Social Media Network

Mayo Shields.Blue Background.BorderSome companies have promulgated separate social media policies. But as we consulted organizations in other industries, and our own Human Resources and Compliance colleagues, we determined Mayo Clinic did not need additional policies for social media. And so, here’s how we began our Guidelines document:

Follow all applicable Mayo Clinic policies. For example, you must not share confidential or proprietary information about Mayo Clinic and you must maintain patient privacy. Among the policies most pertinent to this discussion are those concerning patient confidentiality, government affairs, mutual respectpolitical activityComputer, E-mail & Internet Use, the Mayo Clinic Integrity Program, photography and video, and release of patient information to media.

By creating guidelines instead of an entire new policy, we acknowledged that social media are just another set of communications tools. Any problems that might emerge would not be due to some unique characteristic of these platforms. We don’t have a separate policy for telephone or elevator conversations, so why create one for conversations on social media? We decided to emphasize that existing policies apply in this context, too.

We could have stopped after the first six words: Follow all applicable Mayo Clinic policies. The remainder of the paragraph merely highlights instances that are most susceptible to violation online. We went beyond those first six words to create clarity, raise awareness, and prevent mistakes.

Next Post
Guideline #2: Speak for Yourself

Tags: Employee Communications

Liked by Jan Powell, jasonpratt


Jan Powell

Posts: 49
Joined: May 02, 2014
Posted by @flickpen, May 30, 2015

Lee, thank you for posting the guidelines series, ‘sharing the love’ so that those of us not blessed to be Mayo employees can help our own co-workers forage into the wild and wooly world of social media with all the right tools, including thoughtful deliberation.

Posted by @LeeAase, May 30, 2015

Thanks, Jan…very nice of you to say that. I hope others find it helpful, and that it helps our Mayo employees better understand the reasons behind our guidelines and expectations. Mostly, as you said, I hope it will help everyone feel more confident in engaging online.

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