Sentara’s own social media policy:
There is a basis of conditions and expectations that are included in almost every social media policy set forth, and Sentara’s policy accomplishes that and further. Sentara’s social media policy is the product of thoroughly done work for the purpose of transparently stating exactly the behavior they expect online and forcing the unyielding loyalty of their employees to the organization’s opinions, decisions, and actions when using social media. It’s understandable that Sentara wishes to monitor their employee’s actions, especially seeing as how every employee is a liability. You can be your organizations worst or best agent, so you the public views you as reflective of your employer. When analyzing this policy, I found Point 3 quite interesting because while it ties into the federal policy of HIPAA, it goes further to prohibit employees from posting medical advice.
“3. You are prohibited from posting any content that is personal health information including patient images on any Sentara/OptimaHealth Social Media Site. You are also prohibited from using the Sentara/OptimaHealth Social Media Site to provide medical advice or medical commentary by non-Sentara physicians or to use the Sentara/OptimaHealth Social Media Site to make, recommend or increase referrals to physicians who are not employed by Sentara/OptimaHealth.”
Further, Sentara states that any content posted by their employees can be altered or deleted at their discretion, as if it were their own. Sentara makes it clear that their employees are responsible for any action done under their account regardless of circumstances such as a third party intrusion. In short, this social media policy is an attempt to establish virtual codes of conduct and to release Sentara from the liability of employees causing embarrassment or controversy linked to the organization on the public internet. Obviously, the internet is a grand tool; therefore, it is important that organizations take such precautions as these to protect not only their employees but also themselves.