MANUSCRIPT: Engaging responsibly with social media: the BJUI Guidelines
Social media has also become very popular amongst healthcare professionals both on a personal and professional basis. The reach and engagement which social media enables, along with the incredible speed with which information is disseminated, clearly creates opportunities for advances in healthcare communication. However, because healthcare professionals also have serious professional responsibilities which extend to their communication with others, there are dangers lurking in social media due to the inherent lack of privacy and control.
As a result, major professional bodies have now issued guidance for their members regarding their behaviour using social media. These include bodies representing medical students, general practitioners, physicians, oncologists, the wider medical community, as well as major regulatory bodies such as the Federation of State Medical Boards and the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK, whose role is to licence medical practitioners. The guidance from the latter, part of the GMC’s Good Medical Practice policy, has significant implications as failure to comply with this guidance could impact a doctor’s licence to practice. All health care providers engaging in social media need to familiarize themselves with the relevant institutional, local, and national guidelines and policies.