Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Social networks and medical privacy

So you have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, a blog, and text and email everyone you know. You share things about your life, maybe not all, but probably more than you think. You complain about your life, tell everyone when you have a cold, a customer made you mad, your boss ticked you off, or your husband brought you flowers. You say happy birthday to your friends and commiserate over a job loss or death in the family.

But what if your doctor was on line as much as you and complained about patients or a work situation - which included you - as their patient.

This issue is now coming to the forefront for many people who use the internet both personally and professionally. The technical advice is to 'create separate personal and professional accounts' for everything. Well I have tried that and the lines are blurred. Everything is tied back to specific email addresses and what if you have an account in one place personally but need to use it professionally?

Hospitals are beginning
to recognize this as an issue. I see it as a fairly significant issue myself. I expect my medical privacy to be preserved. I would not want my doctor discussing my medical issues on the open internet, nor would I want pictures of me posted by my doctor.

The free for all, no privacy, no rules of the wild west internet are in direct conflict with the guarded privacy found in medicine, banking, stock insider deals, and more areas. It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds in the coming years.

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