Abuse of nursing home residents on social media the focus of new AHCA guide

Nursing homes are receiving new instructions on how to prevent employees from abusing residents on social media.

A training kit produced by the American Health Care Association provides explanations of different social media platforms, recommendations for employee usage policies and directives on how to report improper media usage.  

Step-by-step directions on how to handle different type of inappropriate social media posts — including degrading comments, photos and videos — are included.

AHCA Senior Vice President Greg Crist told Bloomberg BNA that many care facilities have not implemented social media policies because they are not actively involved in the platforms.

“Hopefully with this kit we have, we can have this disseminated more widely throughout the country,” Crist said

Distribution of the kits began on Friday.

The training kit was created shortly after Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) began questioning social media companies on efforts to prevent nursing home employees' exploitative posts.

In letters sent to executives at Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, Grassley listed several examples of inappropriate photos and videos of residents that had been posted to their social media platforms.

“As technology and social media expand, we owe it to our nation's elderly population to ensure quality nursing home care, which debasement of patients does not fulfill,” Grassley wrote.

He asked the companies to disclose by June 23 the measures they currently have in place to prevent the airing of such content.

Crist said AHCA looks forward to the social media companies' contributions to protect residents.

“We welcome any and all assistance from any party that wants to help address this,” Crist said. “The more partners in this fight, the better.”