The following are guidelines for McLean Hospital employees, students, volunteers, and contractors who participate in social media. Social media includes personal blogs and other websites, including Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube or others.
These guidelines apply whether employees and students are posting to their own sites or commenting on other sites. These guidelines are specific to McLean and should be followed in conjunction with the social media policy of Partners HealthCare:
- Follow all applicable McLean Hospital policies. For example, you must not share confidential or proprietary information about McLean Hospital and you must maintain patient privacy. Among the policies most pertinent to this discussion are those concerning patient confidentiality, government affairs, mutual respect, political activity, computer, email and Internet use, photography and video, and release of patient information to media.
- Write in the first person. Where your connection to McLean Hospital is apparent, make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of McLean Hospital. In those circumstances, you should include this disclaimer: “The views expressed on this [blog; website] are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer.” Consider adding this language in an “About me” section of your blog or social media profile.
- If you identify your affiliation to McLean Hospital, your social media activities should be consistent with McLean’s high standards of professional conduct.
- If you communicate on a public website about McLean Hospital or McLean Hospital-related matters, you must disclose your connection with McLean Hospital and your role at McLean. Only approved spokespeople are permitted to speak on behalf of the hospital.
- Only a small number of pre-approved staff members have access to official hospital social media sites and no accounts may be set up without authorization.
- Be professional, use good judgment, and be accurate and honest in your communications; errors, omissions or unprofessional language or behavior reflect poorly on McLean, and may result in liability for you or McLean Hospital. Be respectful and professional to fellow employees, business partners, competitors, and patients. Ensure that your social media activity does not interfere with your work commitments.
- McLean Hospital strongly discourages “friending” of patients on social media websites. Staff in patient care roles generally should not initiate or accept friend requests except in unusual circumstances such as the situation where an in-person friendship pre-dates the treatment relationship.
- McLean Hospital discourages staff in management/supervisory roles from initiating “friend” requests with employees they manage. Managers/supervisors may accept friend requests if initiated by the employee, and if the manager/supervisor does not believe it will negatively impact the work relationship.
- McLean Hospital does not endorse people, products, services, and organizations. Please keep this in mind when posting on social media sites as well.
- Your social media name, handle, and URL should not include McLean Hospital’s name or logo and you should not use your McLean/Partners business email address in association with personal social media accounts.