These are some of the most prominent social media social media platforms.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google +
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest

Recent years have seen the rise of social media usage in all professions including healthcare. Many practitioners turn to social media to engage with colleagues or patients or promote awareness through Facebook posts, Tweets, and other means.Social media is an efficient way of raising awareness about health programs and campaigns in an instant. It creates a way for an ongoing response, monitoring of patients and more connection.

The skyrocketing of social media also has these challenges for healthcare providers.


Health care is field dealing with very personal hence privacy is paramount. It cannot run without the heavy regulations that safeguard patient information and compliance with ethical requirements. Social media, on the other hand, relies more on sharing than securing information. It is difficult to determine the borderline between what healthcare practitioners can share and hide. Large organizations with many social media users have the challenge to establish best social media practices for using social media. Those with some ways of regulation social media use for their staff still have challenges in enforcing collective compliance by all the users.


When you sign up for a social media platform with your name or post your pictures, it is impossible to hide your identity. All the posts, emails, comments, videos and any thigh else on the platforms will be discoverable. If you post something which does not conform to the best practices in healthcare provision, someone you may not want to find it could easily discover it. It could be your superiors, patient, and colleague. The content includes postings in closed groups and private messages. If for instance, you make a comment that hurts a patient’s emotions or jeopardizes practice, someone can find the posting for presentation as evidence to disciplinary board or in a court. Things might not get to this level, but content online can change the attitude that people have about you and affect your career progress.


Protection of data and privacy of social media is extremely important but can be challenging even for the suave users. Ingenious hackers can intrude the privacy settings and take control of the social media channels to send fraud posts to followers and adjust the appearance to misrepresent the true position. Other might even use for offending promotions which can be detrimental to the image of healthcare providers.

Malicious viruses are also known to infect accounts and spread to followers. Healthcare providers who use social media to connect with followers will lose the many followers who will no longer trust them.


Social media is accessible to people from every part of the globe. The followers are from diverse races, religions, ethnic and social backgrounds. An honest posting by a healthcare provider from one part of the world or community might be offensive to a specific group that will not know that there was no intention to hurt them. Some will not have more trust even after a retraction.


Social media can give some mental boost, but most of the time, workers become too enthralled with social media during their shifts and lose focus. It is worse for health professionals since patient care requires much attention. Social networking has many distractions, and those to their work could forget some essential duties that could risk the patient’s health. For instance, a nurse on communication with friends on social media could forge to monitor the level of blood sugar at the frequency requested by the physician.

Use of social media in the modern world is inevitable, but it is essential that healthcare providers take precautions by creating guidelines to specify the acceptable and forbidden practice for their staff.

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