Guidance on Use of Social Media and the Internet

Social media can be a great tool for the free exchange of information and ideas. However, with new technology comes emerging challenges. Physicians must adhere to ethical and professional standards and take care to avoid crossing professional boundaries whenever using social media. This is especially important since physicians are being subject to disciplinary actions in some cases for use of social media and the Internet regarding their patients.

< Click on the image and read 10 pointers for using social media.

The WSMA is gathering a wide range of resources and guidelines regarding responsible use of social media and the Internet. We will be adding new material to this page as it becomes available. Make sure to check with your practice or group about their social media policies.

The following are just a few of the resources that provide guidance to physicians on social media and Internet use:

Guidance from MQAC

The Medical Quality Assurance Commission recently adopted new guidance clarifying its position on professional boundaries and physicians' use of social media. The commission has noted an increase in patient complaints related to concerns that physicians have violated patient privacy or acted otherwise unprofessionally through social media use. In order to avoid any disciplinary action, physicians should familiarize themselves with the guidance and be sure to follow its cautionary advice. For further information contact Tierney Edwards at tee@wsma.org, or you may contact MQAC directly

Washington State Medical Association

American Medical Association

Federation of State Medical Boards

Physicians Insurance