Social media has grown rapidly since its introduction over 10 years ago. It is a powerful interactive tool where people can share opinions, experiences, information, resources and more.
The use of social media can have an enormous benefit for society – both personally and professionally – and allows people to communicate and interact with a wide-reaching audience. It is estimated that 79% of Australians now use social media in one form or another..
According to social media media statistics, 2020 demographics show the following in Australia:
- Facebook has 2.89 billion monthly active users. 11.23 million in Australia.
- The total number of mobile active users is 2.2 billion.
- 69% of all adults in the US are using Facebook.
- Women between 18 – 24 and male between 25 -34 age groups constituted the biggest demographic group of Facebook users.
- 74% of high-income earners use Facebook.
A word of caution however – social media can be a challenge for health and medical practitioners as it is critical to maintain regulatory and ethical responsibilities when interacting online, just as it is when interacting in person.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), together with the 14 National Boards that regulate registered health practitioners has developed a social media policy to assist health practitioners understand their obligations when using social media and can be found here.
Tego Insurance – Expert Medico-Legal Advice
As medical indemnity insurance providers in Australia, Tego is here to help you. We understand the healthcare regulatory landscape is constantly evolving, but it is essential that you keep up to date with the rules and regulations in regards to communication and social media.
A Simple List of Do’s and Don’ts
- Maintain professional obligations.
- Comply with confidentiality and privacy obligations.
- Present information in an unbiased, evidence based context.
AHPRA reinforces the National Law which states that health practitioners “cannot make misleading or unsubstantiated claims, or claim unreasonable expectation of benefit”.
- Use testimonials about the service or business.
- Post information that could harm or damage their professional reputation
- Cross professional boundaries.
Protecting Your Practice – Tego Insurance
In conclusion, while social media gives people the ability to communicate and interact on an informal basis, health and medical practitioners cannot afford to use an online presence if it doesn’t reflect a high standard of professionalism by medical peers, ethical standards and the community.
As medical indemnity insurance providers in Australia, we will cover your practice with medical indemnity insurance, medical malpractice insurance, doctors indemnity insurance, medical practice insurance, GP medical indemnity insurance, and more. If you are a medical practitioner with Tego, your medical indemnity insurance comes with 24/7 medico-legal advice and support to guide you through the perils of social media.
This publication is general in nature and is not comprehensive or constitute legal or medical advice. You should seek legal, medical or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practice proper clinical decision making with regard to individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Tego Insurance Pty Ltd is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information.