Awareness : Newsletter Articles

A New Social Media Policy for UHealth!

Social networks are among the most popular websites on the Internet. Facebook has over a billion users, and Instagram and Twitter have hundreds of millions of users each. Social networks were generally built on the idea of sharing posts, photographs, and personal information. However, the use of social media presents privacy and security risks, especially in the health care industry. Recent data related scandals significantly impacted the way people think about online privacy and consumers have grown wary over the mishandling of their personal and sensitive information.

In order to help UHealth employees navigate the complexities of the social media landscape, the University of Miami Health System implemented a new Social Media Policy in August 2019. The policy details how faculty, staff, and students can use social media at the University of Miami Health System (UHealth) while still protecting the rights of our patients, co-workers, and students in addition to remaining compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and UHealth privacy and security policies. The policy applies to online activity both during working and non-working hours, whether using a University or personal account at work, home or elsewhere.

The policy states that UHealth employees are prohibited to disclose, share or mention any of the following without the proper written authorization:

  • Any patient protected health information (“PHI”)
  • Any personally identifiable information (“PII”) of patients, employees, Board Members, trustees, students or any other members of the workforce
  • UHealth business records, financial information, operational information, trade secrets, or any sensitive data that is of a nature that a reasonable person would understand is of a confidential and non-public nature.

In order to adhere to the policy, below are some tips to assist in ensuring compliance:

  • Never disclose PII and PHI without the proper approvals
  • Only post appropriate and respectful content
  • If posting anything outside the scope of your employment, be sure to specify that the views expressed are your own and not those of UHealth and/or the University
  • Giving medical advice online is prohibited
  • Review and follow the rules

Please keep in mind that you are responsible for your social media accounts and your online activity. Thus we urge you to take the time to review and familiarize yourself with UHealth’s Social Media Policy.

For further information on speaking to the media or social media posts please contact Social Media Manager, Carla Rivera at CarlaRivera@med.miami.edu. If you have questions or need further guidance, please contact, the Office of Privacy and Data Security at 305-243-5000 or privacy@med.miami.edu. The Office of Privacy and Data Security is available to any area to provide further education and a presentation on HIPAA and social media. Our office is also available to provide education and presentations on other topics including HIPAA basics, FairWarning, contracting and privacy issues, release of records, and releasing PHI into research.