Highland Medical Centre is a bulk billing practice

Social Media Policy

Name of Social Media Officers: Andrea Edwards – Practice Manager 

Jacky Kennedy – Corporate Services Manager

Introduction

This policy provides guidance for members of the practice on using social media internally and externally. The policy helps identify and mitigate risks associated with social media use.

Definition

For the purposes of this policy, ‘social media’ is online social networks used to disseminate information through online interaction. 

Purpose 

Regardless of whether social media is used for business-related activity or for personal reasons, the following policy requirements apply to all GPs, Allied Health Professionals and staff of the practice.  They are legally responsible for their online activities, and if found to be in breach of this policy, could risk employment termination if the breach is deemed serious or defamatory.  

This Social Media Policy will help protect the reputation of the business.

Use of practice social media accounts

The practice appoints both Andrea Edwards and Jacky Kennedy as Social Media Officers responsible for managing and monitoring the practice’s social media accounts. They are permitted to post on Highland Medical Centre’s social media.  The practice reserves the right to remove any content at its own discretion.

Accounts

The practice has social media accounts with:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Whatsapp

All accounts are protected by secure user names and passwords which have been verified.  Patients are informed via our website that we use social media and the restrictions placed on us using social media. 

Details of the business type and what services we perform have been added to the account and are visible to business users.

Consent is sought prior to posting any images of staff.  Images of patients will not be used at any time.

All content used on the social media sites are relevant to health and in some cases are sought through sites such as:

  • Department of Health WA
  • Healthy WA

Both social media sites make reference to the business details and website address.

The Highland Whatsapp account is for the sole use of Highland Medical Centre Staff to circulate information and updates on medical regulations and guidelines.

Staff conduct on social media

When using the practice’s social media, practice staff will not: 

  • post any material that
  • is unlawful, threatening, defamatory, pornographic, inflammatory, menacing or offensive 
  • infringes or breaches another person’s rights (including intellectual property rights) or privacy, or misuses the practice’s or another person’s confidential information (eg do not submit confidential information relating to our patients, personal information of staff, or information concerning the practice’s business operations that have not been made public)
  • is materially damaging or could be materially damaging to the practice’s reputation or image, or another individual 
  • is in breach of any of the practice’s policies or procedures
  • use social media to send unsolicited commercial electronic messages, or solicit other users to buy or sell products or services or donate money
  • impersonate another person or entity (eg by pretending to be someone else or another practice employee or other participant when you submit a contribution to social media) or by using another’s registration identifier without permission
  • tamper with, hinder the operation of, or make unauthorised changes to the social media sites
  • knowingly transmit any virus or other disabling feature to or via the practice’s social media account, or use in any email to a third party, or the social media site 
  • attempt to do or permit another person to do any of these things
  • claim or imply that you are speaking on the practice’s behalf, unless you are authorised to do so
  • disclose any information that is confidential or proprietary to the practice, or to any third party that has disclosed information to the practice
  • be defamatory, harassing or in violation of any other applicable law
  • include confidential or copyrighted information (eg music, videos, text belonging to third parties)
  • violate any other applicable policy of the practice.

Monitoring Social Media Sites

The practice’s social media channels are part of our customer service and are monitored and dealt with regularly. Monitoring of the social media accounts is done weekly. Any responses that are required are handled within 24 hours.

Testimonials

The practice complies with AHPRA national law and takes reasonable steps to remove testimonials that advertise their health services (which may include comments about the practitioners themselves). The practice is not responsible for removing (or trying to have removed) unsolicited testimonials published on a third-party website or in social media accounts over which they do not have control.

Personal Social Media Use

Staff are free to personally engage in social media outside of work hours, as long as their actions do not have the potential to bring the practice into disrepute. Employees may not represent personal views expressed as those of this practice. 

Any social media posts by staff on their personal social media platforms must not reveal confidential information about the practice or a person who uses the practice (eg staff should not post information relating to patients or other staff, or information concerning the practice’s business operations that have not been made public).

Staff should respect copyright, privacy, fair use, financial disclosure and other applicable laws when publishing on social media platforms.

Any staff member posting on social media that identifies themselves as an employee of Highland Medical, need to ensure they add a disclaimer “the views expressed in this post are mine and do not reflect the views of the practice of which I am employed”.

Breach of Policy

All social media activities must be in line with this policy.  Any breaches of the policy will generate a full investigation and may result in disciplinary action.

Policy Review Statement

This policy will be reviewed annually and the practice team will be notified of any changes via internal email.

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