The following are guidelines for Mayo Clinic employees and students participating in social media.
Social media includes personal blogs and other websites, including social networking platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube or others. These guidelines apply whether employees and students are posting to their own sites or commenting on other sites:
- 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 respect, political activity, Computer, E-mail & Internet Use, the Mayo Clinic Integrity Program, photography and video, and release of patient information to media. (Rationale)
- Write in the first person. Where your connection to Mayo Clinic is apparent, make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of Mayo Clinic. In those circumstances, you should include this disclaimer: "The views expressed on this [blog; website] are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer." Consider adding this language in an "About me" section of your blog or social media profile. (Rationale)
- If you identify your affiliation to Mayo Clinic, your social media activities should be consistent with Mayo’s high standards of professional conduct. (Rationale)
- If you communicate in the public internet about Mayo Clinic or Mayo Clinic-related matters, you must disclose your connection with Mayo Clinic and your role at Mayo. (Rationale)
- Be professional, use good judgment and be accurate and honest in your communications; errors, omissions or unprofessional language or behavior reflect poorly on Mayo, and may result in liability for you or Mayo Clinic. Be respectful and professional to fellow employees, business partners, competitors and patients. (Rationale)
- Ensure that your social media activity does not interfere with your work commitments. (Rationale)
- Mayo Clinic strongly discourages “friending” of patients on social media websites. Staff in patient care roles generally should not initiate or accept friend requests except in unusual circumstances such as the situation where an in-person friendship pre-dates the treatment relationship. (Rationale)
- Mayo Clinic discourages staff in management/supervisory roles from initiating “friend” requests with employees they manage. Managers/supervisors may accept friend requests if initiated by the employee, and if the manager/supervisor does not believe it will negatively impact the work relationship. (Rationale)
- Mayo Clinic does not endorse people, products, services and organizations. Official Mayo Clinic accounts should not be used to provide such endorsements. For personal social media accounts where your connection to Mayo Clinic is apparent, you should be careful to avoid implying that an endorsement of a person or product is on behalf of Mayo Clinic, rather than a personal endorsement. As an example, LinkedIn users may endorse individuals or companies, but may not use Mayo Clinic's name in connection with the endorsement, state or imply that the endorsement is on behalf of Mayo Clinic, or state specifically that the endorsement is based on work done at Mayo Clinic. (Rationale)
- Unless approved by the Center for Social Media, your social media name, handle and URL should not include Mayo Clinic’s name or logo. (Rationale)
If you have any questions about what is appropriate to include in your social media profile(s), contact the Center for Social Media.