Everyone from consumers and patients, to physicians and various healthcare professionals are using the many social networking sites that are available today in order to connect with one another, promote their businesses, and get information easily. But if you are a healthcare company that is planning on using social media for marketing purposes, make sure you know how to do so successfully and compliantly by following the health communication tips below.
With several state and federal regulations and rules that are designed to govern the communications that occur within the healthcare industry, you need to be aware of what they are so that you can actually follow them without breaking them. One of the best ways to start understanding the rules, as well as how to effectively promote a healthcare company, is by getting your online masters of science in health communication.
Be Aware of Privacy Laws
On top of working on always following the many regulations and rules that are out there, you also need to be aware of the legal issues that surround patient privacy. Before getting on social media, understand that state and federal privacy laws will limit your ability to actually interact with your patients via social media. Anything that could potentially be utilized to identify patients, such as photos, will be protected, and if any information about your patients is released via social media with authorization, you will be receiving penalties and fines.
Work with Everyone in Your Organization
Anyone who will be using social media to promote your healthcare company should be fully aware of the rules that are in place to protect patients and their privacy. If you are not going to be the only one working on your social media pages, you need to provide proper training to your staff as well. It is also a great idea to create an employee use policy with regards to social media. In this way, you can clearly let everyone know what the acceptable social media behaviors are for your healthcare company, and that will help you avoid problems before they happen.
Have Social Media Content Approved Prior to Posting It
Finally, it is a good idea to get organized when it comes to your social media posting schedule. Develop a content calendar, as that will help with establishing a library of the content that you and your staff could easily quickly post on social media whenever necessary, without having to worry about sensitive patient information not remaining private. Also, setting up a system in which all content needs to be approved before it is posted will ensure that someone well versed in the rules and regulations will catch errors before they are sent off into the World Wide Web.
Once you are aware of the rules and regulations that are in place regarding how a healthcare company can actually use social media to promote itself, you can rest assured that you and your staff will be able to make the most of social networking without breaking any laws.