The internet has really changed the communications game not only for employees but also for businesses. How do you maintain confidentiality when everyone is constantly connected through their devices? You are still entitled to maintain professional privacy in your facility, especially when it comes to your patients, so here are some tips for ensuring that you can keep the right information confidential even in our hyper-connected world.
Most organizations start with the confidentiality agreement. This is a legal document that specifies what information can and cannot be shared with people outside the facility. You must have every new hire sign this as part of their orientation package. Make sure they understand the consequences of sharing the wrong thing, such as patient information.
Speaking of patient information, this is probably the most sensitive topic right now. Patients are becoming very concerned about new policies for privacy, including HIPAA, and want to know they are protected. Your staff needs to understand that posting pictures or updates about patients at work will not be tolerated.
Be diligent about online content.
If you catch wind of a healthcare professional conducting themselves unprofessionally online, you need to take action. But you should also be aware of any and all mentions of your company online. Look at reviews. Leverage positive information and mitigate anything that is negative.
Don’t allow cell phones on the floor.
Probably the simplest way to ensure that your staff is compliant with your social media policies is to have a no cell phone rule. Ask them to leave their phones at their desk or locker. While there may be reasons they need to have their phones on them, make it as easy as possible to avoid a problem.
Provide training regularly.
Finally, you need to make sure that your nursing and other healthcare staffing fully understand all of the issues surrounding patient confidentiality and HIPAA. Whenever you can provide training opportunities for people to learn more about these privacy issues and the ways they can help ensure patients are safe and protected.