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Misuse of social media is a critical area of HIPAA privacy. A random act of carelessness by a healthcare worker can result in a Protected Health Information (PHI) breach, inviting actions from the HHS. As is known, protection of patient health information is what HIPAA is essentially all about. Many safeguards and safety mechanisms have been put into HIPAA to ensure this.

However, the rise of the social media has brought in a new dimension to PHI. Patient confidentiality can be breached when social media are misused, violating HIPAA privacy mandates. Such seemingly simple actions as a healthcare worker making an unauthorized or inappropriate social media comment or the practitioner responding to a social media statement could constitute violations.

How does a doctor respond to a rating she receives from a patient on the social media without violating the law? Does the doctor's informed consent or practice policy documentation with the patient prevent the patient from speaking out on social media about the doctor? A healthcare worker can be “fired by Facebook”, and a licensed healthcare practitioner may be subject to licensure discipline. Obviously, these are complex issues and call for a deep understanding in dealing with.

Proper learning on HIPAA and the social media

The ways by which healthcare organizations can ensure that they have everything in place to prevent such occurrences will be taught at a webinar that is being organized by MentorHealth, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of healthcare. Mark Brengelman, an Attorney at Law at Hazelrigg and Cox LLP, an established law firm that traces its history to over one hundred years in Frankfort, Kentucky and is the founding presenter for “Navigating Ethics and Law for Mental Health Professionals”, a continuing education training approved by five Kentucky mental health licensure boards; will be the speaker at this webinar.

Please register for this webinar and gain insights into how to prevent misuse of PHI by the follies of using the social media.

Complete exploration of all aspects of social media and HIPAA privacy

At this webinar, Mark will explain the avenues and means by which an imprudent healthcare practitioner can breach patient confidentiality by misusing social media, which can result in a HIPAA privacy mandate violation. He will examine the private employment rules of a healthcare facility where employers may take action, and yet may be themselves liable for HIPAA privacy violations in the uses of social media.

Mark will explain in detail the HIPAA privacy mandates as enforced by state licensure boards and agencies and their own, unique pre-HIPAA confidentiality laws. He will offer a detailed look how employees of healthcare providers that violate privacy laws at the state level lose not just their employment, but cause their employers’ license to be revoked, placing their very livelihood in danger.

Actions and exceptions

Mark will also dwell on the core privacy requirements of HIPAA. The social media activities of healthcare practitioners, as well as HIPAA privacy protections, and the many ways by which a healthcare provider may contravene the privacy exceptions through the use of social media, will all be covered.

The speaker will dwell into examples of state laws that apply to licensed healthcare professionals that mandate confidentiality. He will explain the ways by which a healthcare professional’s license can be suspended or revoked for privacy violations in using social media, and will also describe how employment rules of the healthcare facility may impact the use of social media by the healthcare practitioner.

In the course of this highly engaging webinar, Mark will cover the following areas:

  • The basics of HIPAA privacy requirements
  • The permitted use of social media by healthcare practitioners
  • Employer or healthcare facility rules governing employee uses of social media
  • State authority of licensure boards and agencies to regulate the confidentiality of Protected Health Information held by licensed healthcare practitioners
  • How social media violations may occur by healthcare practitioners
  • Examples of social media violations and HIPAA privacy mandates
  • Social media rankings and healthcare practitioner's enticed violations
  • Tips and techniques and a checklist for using social media in compliance with HIPAA.

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