Health Law blogger David Harlow

David Harlow, laywer and health blogger, has posted and commented on the AMA’s recently promulgated policy on social media for physicians. The guidance is mostly straightforward and reinforces common-sense guidance on privacy and other issues that have been with us since physicians first started using online services well before Facebook and Twitter appeared.

AMA announced the policy Nov. 8, saying the objective is “helping physicians to maintain a positive online presence and preserve the integrity of the patient-physician relationship.”

Harlow notes a measure that strongly urges physicians to report unsuitable online behavior by their peers “to appropriate authorities.” Web communities can be very self-policying, but this seems slightly implausible.  More likely, patients and users will roust out offenders.

Harlow was recently appointed to the advisory board of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, which will play a central role in the evolution of social media in hospital and provider settings. Mayo has been arguably the most aggressive adopter of social media tools and approaches in the last two years.

Harlow’s commentary and full text of the policy:
Harlow on Twitter: @healthblawg

AMA Announcement of Nov. 8