Social media can provide patients and the public with information about your practice. However, you should be aware of the potential risks:
- Loss of personal privacy and breaches of confidentiality
- Online behaviour that might be perceived as unprofessional, offensive or inappropriate by others
- Messages or patient complaints damaging your professional or personal reputation.
When starting out in practice, you should strive to keep the following principles in mind:
- Be mindful that every online platform is public
- Be aware of the image you present online and manage this proactively
- Recognise that the personal and professional can’t always be separated
- Engage with the public, but avoid giving personal advice
- Respect the privacy of all patients, especially the vulnerable
- Show your human side, but maintain professional boundaries
- Contribute your expertise, insights and experience
- Treat others with consideration, politeness and respect
- Support your colleagues and intervene if necessary.
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