The advantages of electronic communication are many. It requires only a few seconds to communicate, even around the world; it’s cheaper than the traditional letter; and it allows for an almost instant exchange of feedback.
Yet, electronic communication is not free from limitations. Writing is often casual, which means information may not be complete. For example, abbreviations may not be decoded correctly by the receiver. Furthermore, data may not be received due to a system error or fault with the technology. Finally, transmissions may not be secure (i.e., emails can be forwarded, and apps may be hacked).
As a healthcare professional, your priorities are always oriented around the care and consideration of clients and protection of their information. Your emails, social media accounts, cell phone messages, pictures and emails will need to be considered sources of potential breaches of confidentiality. Review the information in the article, “The Perils of Social Media for Healthcare Professionals,” to remind you of steps to take to ensure that you keep the information that is protected safe.
If you would like to know more about the “do’s and don’ts” of social media for health care professionals, please read “Social media etiquette for health care providers” (2011) by Abby A. Jacobson.