Our December Health TechNet meeting focused on the advantages, as well as important cautions and concerns, about the use of social media (such as iPad, iPhones, Facebook, Twitter and the like) by physicians and hospitals in connection with patient care.
The meeting featured the presentations of Chris Boyer, Senior Manager of Digital Communication from Inova Health System; Dr. Farrohk Alemi, professor at Georgetown University and the founder of Rapid Improvements, Inc.; and Ann Ashby, Deputy Executive Director at the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. Mr. Boyer provided us with an overview of how Inova is utilizing social media, and shared his observations on the results thus far. Dr. Alemi explained how his company’s use of internet commentary on provider performance to form searchable data bases for provider evaluation, while Ms. Ashby discussed the role of the foundation in promoting mobile Health, including fundraising efforts for promising mHealth initiatives.
Pillsbury attorneys also provided us with an overview on several legal issues arising from the use of social media, including privacy considerations, compliance issues, and billing and coding considerations. They explained how the law is not keeping up with the exploding pace of doctor/patient use of social media to communicate, and how the law needs to be formulated to address these developments. We also discussed the policies and procedures that providers need to adopt in order to manage the use of social media to avoid legal problems.
The presentations of the speakers were followed by an active discussion among our members. Those presentations are attached.