We've all read the stories of hospital workers being fired because of releasing patient information on Facebook or Twitter. Those rogue employees might not have acted alone—they might have been enabled by their employers' weak social media policies.
How do you solve a problem like social media?
Last week in this space, I presented the view of openness and opportunity as it relates to social media policies in the workplace. It's become clear to me that blocking social media is not about a distrust of the masses. Instead it's about the fear of employees going rogue.
Reasons vary, but more than half of hospitals are estimated to have policies in place that block access to social media sites on their networks, according to InCrowd, Inc., a healthcare market research company.
We've all read the stories of hospital workers being fired because of releasing patient information on Facebook or Twitter. Just last month Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles terminated five workers for inappropriately accessing patient records. The breach occurred days after Kim Kardashian gave birth at the facility.
In many of these instances, the blame should not fall entirely on employees' shoulders. Rather, it is weak social media policies that contribute to privacy violations. The most important step to reducing risk comes from educating staff around appropriate behaviors and building a broad social media policy that covers employees social media activities both at work and at home.