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Social media & protecting patient information

Physicians | Posted September 23, 2021

Social media has been an important tool for staying connected and sharing personal experiences throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but we’re starting to see some concerns around disclosing patient information, whether intentional or not.

This includes sharing photos that may have sensitive information in the background, and/or releasing information about a patient that could be identified and linked to the patient by the patient themselves, and/or their friends and family. For example, sharing publicly that a 30-something-year-old pregnant female passed away from COVID-19, with a picture of yourself wearing your staff badge, is likely going to lead some family and friends to identify the patient, including her cause of death.

We encourage you to review the resources below:

  1. Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Alberta);
  2. Health Information Act (Alberta);
  3. Copyright Act (Canada); and
  4. Advice to the profession: Social Media.

Thank you for your continued attention to protecting patient information.

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