Employees should beware of social media pitfalls
Posted Tuesday, July 10 2012 at 19:06
As social media grows, more employees are using it. Previous attempts to curtail its access while at work through IP and website restrictions have been circumvented by the booming number of web-enabled mobile devices.
Employers have good reasons for restricting use of social media at work and employers have their reasons too, such as livening up mundane daily work.
While some use of social media is unproductive, some positive notes can be drawn. However, a few challenges arise from the behaviour.
Top of which are privacy issues. Last week a furore was raised when a local bank inadvertently posted a client’s account on a social media platform.
Granted, this was not done in bad faith. The resultant jibes, tirades, and comments served to highlight the treacherous world of social media.
Modern-day medical practice has changed and the rigid patient-doctor relationship of old is also evolving.
A few hospitals have social media sites and a following, some of whom are patients and staff. This could be aimed at marketing services or improving communication between patients and customers.
I have witnessed the good side of social media, for instance when clients complained about poor services at night, over weekends and holidays at a leading private hospital.
The result was improved services after the authorities took action. The challenge for health workers is to avoid having embarrassing incidents like the one concerning the bank. Unfortunately a few blunders do occur, mainly from young doctors.
We must know what to talk about, how to talk about it, and most importantly what not to talk about on social media.
Why? Because a big chunk of the public has access to social media, which can have deleterious effect and a negative image of the profession.
The goodwill that the health sector enjoys from society arises because of the perceived nobility of our profession.
The Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board’s ethics booklet is a fairly decent guideline.
The general rules should be: no pictures, no names, no condescending or defamatory statements, and most importantly— only facts.
Passage of the Electronic Media Bill means that Kenyans will be held responsible for e-content and will need to be able to prove their claims when called upon.