their responsibilities and the protocols for reporting actions
that could put patients or the organization at risk.
In addition, employers must use caution as they venture into
personal sites maintained by employees. Unless the employer
has been given the right, information contained on an employee’s personal site cannot be used in the workplace. Examples of
court cases upholding privacy rights of employees on their private Web sites include Konop v. Hawaiian Airlines, Pietrylo v.
Hillstone Restaurant Group, and Blakey v. Continental Airlines.
The laws can be vague in their relation to social media, and
they continue to change. Technology is outrunning regulations. As such, continuing education on industry activities is
critical. Organizations must regularly review policies and procedures and update them as necessary. Complaints must be
acted upon immediately to reduce exposure and risk. And employees must be continually reminded of their responsibility to
their peers, their employers, and their patients. ¢
“AMA Weighs in on Social Media.” Health Data Management.
January 1, 2011. Available online at www.healthdataman-
Barwise, Patrick, and Sean Meehan. “The One Thing You Must
Get Right When Building a Brand.” Harvard Business Review
88, no. 12 (December 2010): 80–84.
Dimick, Chris. “Privacy Policies for Social Media.” Journal of
AHIMA, January 6, 2010. Web exclusive. Available online at
Edelman, David. “Branding in the Digital Age: You’re Spending
Your Money in All the Wrong Places.” Harvard Business Review 88, no. 12 (Dec. 2010): 62–69.
Gaines-Ross, Leslie. “Reputation Warfare.” Harvard Business Review 88, no. 12 (Dec. 2010): 70–76.
ID Experts. “Avoid the Risks of Anti-Social Networking.” Data
Breach Examiner 7 (Nov. 2010).
Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. http://socialmedia.mayo-clinic.org.
Spenner, Patrick. “Why You Need a New-Media ‘Ringmaster.’”
Harvard Business Review 88, no. 12 (Dec. 2010): 78–79.
Wolf, Dale. “Making Social Media Work for Business.” Expert Access. September 8, 2010. Available online at http://expertac-
Cecilia Backman is associate director of health record integrity and registry
services at Parkland Health and Hospital System. Susan Dolack is a product marketing manager at Siemens Healthcare. Denise Dunyak is a data
and accountability manager at Pressley Ridge. Laurie Lutz is the director
of health information and medical records at Kootenai Medical Center.
Anne Tegen is the director of HIM at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of
Minnesota and co-chair of AHIMA’s EHR Practice Council. Diana Warner
( email@example.com) is a practice manager at AHIMA. LaVonne
Wieland is the director of information privacy at HealthEast Care Systems
in St. Paul, MN.
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