How would you feel if you were in the hospital and your nurse took a picture of you and uploaded it to her Facebook page? Would you feel like your privacy was violated? Of course, but that’s what’s happening. And it’s forcing hospitals to consider banning sites like Facebook and Twitter altogether.
For example: You may have heard about the hospital worker in New York who was fired for posting photos of a murder victim on Facebook. More recently, four hospital workers in California, were fired for posting pictures of a stabbing victim online. And so far this year, statistics show there have been at least 700 hospital workers flagged in North America, for making inappropriate comments about a patient, or about their job, online.
Experts say the reason for hospitals wanting to restrict access to social media should be obvious: Because any post that puts someone’s privacy at risk could be used as grounds for a lawsuit!
Paul Levy is CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center. He agrees that restricting access to online social media is necessary, however, blocking access completely is not the answer. Because blocking access goes against the hundreds of hospitals now trying to reach out to patients through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and even YouTube. Hospitals are using these sites in helpful ways by showing surgeries on You Tube, or first aid videos, or posting ER wait times on Twitter.
Obviously, no one wants their privacy violated but blocking these sites may not be the quick fix.
So far, there’s no easy solution to this debate, but we’ll keep you posted.