Will you ‘friend’ a patient?

August 13, 2009 —

mousehandAt DMU we always strive to create compassionate care providers. So do not take it wrong when I say you probably shouldn’t be a friend to your patients —I’m talking merely about being Facebook friends.

As the age of technology overtakes us, our modes of communications change. I tend to think the more outlets and mediums we have the better.At DMU we want you to friend your classmates and teachers (and be a fan of your University!) on Facebook, tweet your successes and failures with each other and possibly even blog about your life. (To find our channels on all these outlets, visit www.dmu.edu/connect.)

BUT all these newer lines of communication do present a few challenges you’ll need to consider. How do you best share information about an intriguing patient case with your Twitter followers WITHOUT breaching a patient’s privacy? Do you connect with your boss and co-workers? And if email works best for a patient to communicate with you, will they become too familiar and not see you as a health authority?

Here’s an article in the New England Journal of Medicine about this topic. What do YOU think?? What are your guidelines? Who do you turn down & how do you do it?


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