I will be speaking on the legal issues surrounding health care social media at the upcoming 14th Annual Healthcare Internet Conference

Some health care executives are concerned that involvement with social media on behalf of their organizations can lead only to ruin: HIPAA and malpractice liability, employment issues and other concerns lead many providers to ignore social media entirely.  Well, as I'll be explaining at the conference, the lawyers don't always say no, and there are a number of good reasons to get involved.  Health care providers that do not have a social media presence (yet) should all begin to monitor online channels, including social media channels, to learn what is being said about them — so that they can begin to respond in real life (IRL).  Before jumping into it all, however, it is important for health care providers to understand what they're getting into, how to do it in a manner that will fit in with their existing organizational culture, and how to protect themsleves from potential liability and exposure.

At this juncture, all health care providers should be interested in learning how to utilize social media tools, since in order to qualify as an ACO, or Accountable Care Organization, a health care organization must demonstrate the ways in which it promotes patient engagement.  The social media toolkit will be a key component of any health care organization's patient engagement strategy.

If you will be at the conference, please let me know.

If you would like to arrange for a similar presentation at your institution or association, or a facilitated retreat for key stakeholders to kick-start a social media initiative, please contact me.

David Harlow
The Harlow Group LLC
Health Care Law and Consulting