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Social Media Guidelines

Below are the social media guidelines from the Philip and Rita Rosen Department of Communications and Public Affairs (DCPA), for the faculty, administrators, staff and students at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

For guidance on how to get started on social media or improve your online presence, please read our “Tips to improve your social media experience.”

 

Your Profile

If you are going to mention your connection to Einstein in your profile, please include a disclaimer indicating that your account does not represent Einstein’s views. “Opinions are mine and not my employer’s” is one example of such a disclaimer. This helps prevent confusion between your accounts and those official accounts that represent the College of Medicine or its departments.

 

Privacy and HIPAA

Be aware that what you post may have legal implications in the form of violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or the Federal Education Records Protection Act.

  • In social media, privacy applies to what you disclose about yourself and others. If the information you’re disclosing would violate privacy standards in person, it will do so online.
  • The same holds true whether you’re discussing patients, research results, colleagues or products. It is a violation of HIPAA to disclose protected health information online without written patient consent. Never share information, including comments that belittle patients or patient populations that could lead to identification of a specific patient.
    • Here are a few details that can result in a HIPAA violation: patient names, ages, case/diagnosis/treatment specifics, photos, billing and times and places of patient visits. (For more details on HIPAA and privacy, please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/.
 

Your Identity and “Friending”

If you believe patients or clients will try to contact or “friend” you via social media, remember that the standards of physician-patient relationships are identical offline and online. In such instances, it might be best to keep separate personal and public social media accounts. Share on the personal account as you would with your in-person friends; share with patients in the public account as you would in an office or other professional setting. 

 

Promoting Clinical Trials

 All postings and references to clinical trial recruitment must be approved by Einstein's federally mandated Institutional Review Board (IRB):  http://www.einstein.yu.edu/irb.  To learn more about contacting the IRB, please click here.
 

Creating Official Social Accounts

CPA-approved staff members represent official school positions on social media administered by Einstein, including Einstein’s official Facebook page and Twitter account and Montefiore–approved social media profiles.

If a department, division, center or institute wishes to maintain an account on a social media platform, the designated administrators should fill out our online application.  We request access to official social media profiles via either shared passwords or administrative privileges. This access will be used only in an emergency.

 

When to Contact DCPA

There may be times when you see something on social media that you think warrants the attention of—or maybe even a response from—someone at Einstein. Please alert the social media team at socialmedia@einstein.yu.edu.

If someone in the media gets contacts you on social media, refer that person to DCPA at sciencenews@einstein.yu.edu or tell them to call 718.430.3101.

Be aware that on any social media platform, information may sometimes be created by others looking to harass members of Einstein’s faculty, staff or students. If you encounter such postings, e-mail DCPA at socialmedia@einstein.yu.edu and we will help determine the most appropriate action.