Carolinas HealthCare System

Social Media Guidelines

Carolinas HealthCare System (Carolinas HealthCare System) recognizes that social media is used more and more for communicating. Social media even can be a great workplace tool. Both Carolinas HealthCare System and team members have roles in the responsible use of social media. When someone identifies themself as working for Carolinas HealthCare System or discusses Carolinas HealthCare System workplace issues, that person is expected to act in a way that does not reflect poorly on Carolinas HealthCare System. These guidelines are provided to help leaders and team members, as well as others associated with Carolinas HealthCare System, understand how our organization’s policies apply to social media. The Internet is constantly evolving. This makes it impossible to cover all situations. These guidelines outline what can be expected of Carolinas HealthCare System’s behavior in the social media. The guidelines also provide information to help individuals participate with confidence on Carolinas HealthCare System blogs and other social media venues.

Social media and what one can expect of Carolinas HealthCare System (also good guidelines for all of us)

  • Carolinas HealthCare System blog posts and comments will be accurate and factual.
  • Carolinas HealthCare System will acknowledge and correct mistakes promptly.
  • When corrections are made, Carolinas HealthCare System will preserve the original post in order to maintain integrity; strikethroughs will be shown for what corrections have been made.
  • Carolinas HealthCare System will delete spam and/or comments that are off-topic.
  • Carolinas HealthCare System will reply to emails and comments when appropriate.
  • Carolinas HealthCare System will link directly to online references and original source materials.
  • Carolinas HealthCare System staff will disclose conflicts of interest and will not attempt to conceal their identity or that they work for Carolinas HealthCare System.

Responsible Social Media Engagement

Carolinas HealthCare System trusts and expects leaders and team members to use good professional judgment and personal responsibility at all times. This includes participation in social media, including activity during off work time and/or off the premises. The main thing to remember is that the same basic policies apply to social media as other areas of the work life. 

  1. Know and follow all related Carolinas HealthCare System policies. For example, don’t share confidential information about Carolinas HealthCare System or Carolinas HealthCare System intellectual property (such as copyrighted works, trademarks, or patented inventions). Patient privacy also must be maintained. This includes complying with Carolinas HealthCare System’s policies regarding HIPAA, patient privacy, non-discrimination, and anti-harassment. Breaches of confidentiality and/or abuse of coworkers through disparaging comments are not acceptable in any circumstance.
  2. Don’t forget your day job. If you access social media while at work or using Carolinas HealthCare System equipment, this activity may be monitored by Carolinas HealthCare System and you should not expect to have privacy. You should not use social media in public or patient areas, as doing so might create the impression you are not doing your job.
  3. Personal responsibility. Carolinas HealthCare System team members are personally responsible for the content they publish on blogs, wikis, or any other form of social media. This applies even if the sites or pages are personal and non-work related.
  4. Respect your audience and coworkers. Don't use personal insults, ethnic slurs, obscenity, or engage in any discriminatory, harassing or defamatory conduct that would not be acceptable in the Carolinas HealthCare System workplace.
  5. Be courteous and respect others’ privacy. If a coworker has not given clear permission to use his or her name or likeness, get clear and direct permission before publishing social media related to that team member. Don’t share information that would embarrass or humiliate someone.
  6. Be mindful of the world’s longer memory and protect your privacy.  Remember that the Internet is not anonymous. Due to advances in search engine technology and online “archiving,” everything that someone publishes can be traced back to its author. Published information is likely to exist for a long time. Consider content carefully and be wise in sharing personal details.
  7. Write in the first person and accurately state your role with Carolinas HealthCare System. If a team member identifies himself or herself as a Carolinas HealthCare System team member in social media, the team member must make clear that the views expressed are his or hers alone and do not represent the views of Carolinas HealthCare System.  For example wording such as this can be used: “The posting on this site is my own opinion and doesn’t necessarily represent Carolinas HealthCare System’s positions, strategies, or opinions.”
  8. Admit errors. Use good judgment and strive for accuracy in communications. Errors and omissions reflect poorly on Carolinas HealthCare System and may result in liability for the writer, Carolinas HealthCare System, or both. If you realize something you published was incorrect, be sure and promptly post a correction.
  9. Protect Carolinas HealthCare System’s good reputation. Carolinas HealthCare System’s reputation is best represented by its team members. What you publish may reflect on Carolinas HealthCare System’s reputation. If a false or rumor-laden post is found online, please promptly report the comment to Corporate Communications, Marketing & Outreach so that it can be addressed.
  10. Use personal e-mail addresses on social networking sites. Just as you would not use Carolinas HealthCare System stationery for a letter to the editor with your personal views, do not use your Carolinas HealthCare System email address for personal views. Please use personal e-mail addresses if you choose to list an e-mail address in online communications.
  11. Coordinate work-related websites through Corporate Communications, Marketing & Outreach. Some Carolinas HealthCare System staff or units/departments may be interested in engaging in social media for work-related purposes. You also may be asked by leaders to participate in social media in support of a Carolinas HealthCare System goal. Be sure and get approval from Corporate Communications, Marketing & Outreach before setting up any work-related external site. In addition, only general medical information should be provided. A good introduction to use is: “Any advice given is general medical information and not meant to replace evaluation and treatment by a healthcare provider.”
  12. Avoid the candid camera. Posting or sharing photos of the workplace or team members engaged in Carolinas HealthCare System business is only permitted if approved through Corporate Communications, Marketing & Outreach.
  13. Report violations. Carolinas HealthCare System expects team members to report any suspected violations of this policy to their unit or department leader to Human Resources.
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