Certain online behaviors of docs warrant investigation

Certain online behaviors of docs warrant investigation
There is high consensus among state medical boards regarding the likelihood of probable investigations for certain online behaviors, according to a study published in the Jan. 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

(HealthDay)—There is high consensus among state medical boards regarding the likelihood of probable investigations for certain online behaviors, according to a study published in the Jan. 15 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

S. Ryan Greysen, M.D., M.H.S., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues used 10 hypothetical vignettes to gauge the consensus among 48 state medical boards in the United States regarding the likelihood of investigations for violations of online professionalism.

The researchers observed high consensus for the likelihood of investigation for four of the vignettes: providing misleading information about (81 percent); using patient images without consent (79 percent); misrepresenting credentials (77 percent); and contacting patients inappropriately (77 percent). Moderate consensus was found for three vignettes: depicting (73 percent); violating patient confidentiality (65 percent); and using discriminatory speech (60 percent). Low consensus was seen for the remaining three vignettes (using derogatory speech toward patients, showing alcohol use without intoxication, and providing clinical with no confidentiality violation).

"In conclusion, we found a high degree of consensus among state medical boards about the likelihood of investigation for certain online behaviors, whereas consensus in other areas was lower and more dependent on context," the authors write. "Our findings underscore the need for more continuing education of physicians in practice about potential interpretations and consequences of online actions so that their social media presence can be a professional benefit instead of a liability."

More information: Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Cold cash just keeps washing in from ALS challenge

Aug 28, 2014

In the couple of hours it took an official from the ALS Association to return a reporter's call for comment, the group's ubiquitous "ice bucket challenge" had brought in a few million more dollars.

Medtronic spends $350M on another European deal

Aug 27, 2014

U.S. medical device maker Medtronic is building stronger ties to Europe, a couple months after announcing a $42.9 billion acquisition that involves moving its main executive offices across the Atlantic, where it can get a ...

Mind over matter for people with disabilities

Aug 26, 2014

People with serious physical disabilities are unable to do the everyday things that most of us take for granted despite having the will – and the brainpower – to do so. This is changing thanks to European ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Tausch
not rated yet Jan 15, 2013
@S. Ryan Greysen
Barry Marshall sang that song.

Recognize the face of hypocrisy.