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

Were clinical trial practices in East Germany questionable?

Oct 23, 2014

Clinical trials carried out in the former East Germany in the second half of the 20th century were not always with the full knowledge or understanding of participants with some questionable practices taking place, according ...

Schumacher's doctor sees progress after injury

Oct 23, 2014

A French physician who treated Michael Schumacher for nearly six months after the Formula One champion struck his head in a ski accident says he is no longer in a coma and predicted a possible recovery within three years.

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.