Association releases social media guidelines for nurses

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Nurses should not be afraid to embrace social media for fear of violating patient privacy — rather, they should follow professional standards, according to new guidelines released by the American Nurses Association.

The association said social media applications — such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — are an asset for many professional healthcare organizations, but says certain guidelines should be observed to protect workers, providers and patients.

The ANA advises nurses to:

Avoid transmitting individually identifiable patient information.

Take advantage of privacy settings and seek to separate personal and professional information online.

Alert the proper authorities to possible privacy breaches.

Work within their own organizations to develop institutional policies.

To download the ANA's full guidelines, click here.