Employees are the primary reason Aspirus excels in health care. Our compassionate and excellent workforce serves as a legion of Aspirus ambassadors. Today, social media platforms provide new and immediate ways to share information with a broader audience than ever before. However, it is the responsibility of all Employees to ensure that communications are appropriate, respectful, lawful, and ethical.
Aspirus believes that participation in online communities can promote better communication with Aspirus’ colleagues and customers, the general public, traditional and non-traditional media, and other community stakeholders. Such participation may include, but is not limited to, postings in online forums, blogs, microblogs, etc. (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, health pages and blogs, media sites, and other similar online forums). Communications produced by Aspirus’ Employees in the online community must be consistent with Aspirus’ policies and applicable laws, including laws concerning protected health information, privacy, confidentiality, copyright, and trademarks.
Aspirus may require that an Employee temporarily discontinue use of Aspirus-sponsored online communities or stop acting on behalf of Aspirus if it believes his/her communications are in violation of Aspirus’ policies, values, or local, state or federal laws, including state and federal patient privacy laws.
General Guidelines of Communications Made by Employees in Any Capacity:
- Communications shall never contain information that identifies a patient’s identity or health condition in any way. Disclosing any patient Protected Health Information (PHI), including using images inappropriately, is a violation of federal law. Employees should never make public or online comments about the care of a specific patient. Acknowledging the care of a patient is an unacceptable disclosure of PHI.
- Communications must not violate any confidentiality agreement signed by the Employee, and must not disclose Aspirus’ trade secret, copyrighted, or trademarked information.
- Employees may not use an Aspirus email address as a primary means of personal communications or identification on social media profiles without approval from their direct supervisor.
- Employees and patients are our best ambassadors and are encouraged to share their Aspirus story. However, please share in a responsible, legal, and respectful manner. Express opinions in a polite and appropriate manner, but make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of Aspirus.
General Guidelines of Communications Made by Employee in His/Her Official Capacity:
- Communications should be consistent with Aspirus’ values, policies, and applicable laws.
- When participating in social networking sites for official purposes, Employees shall follow Aspirus’ Standards of Conduct, all HIPAA requirements, and Aspirus’ privacy-related policies.
Unofficial Participation in Online Forums
- Unless an Employee is serving as an approved, official spokesperson for Aspirus in online communications, such communications are the Employee’s personal opinions and do not reflect the opinion of Aspirus. Each Employee is individually responsible for his/her communication.
- If an Employee acknowledges his/her relationship with Aspirus in an online community, the Employee shall include disclaimers in his/her online communications advising that he/she is not speaking officially on behalf of Aspirus.
Official Spokesperson or Other Job-Specific Participation in Online Forums
- If Media contacts an Employee about the business of the organization, prior to responding, the Employee must contact the Aspirus Marketing and Communications department at extension 72258 for permission to serve as an official spokesperson and to coordinate with other appropriate departments.
- Once an Employee has approval to serve as an official spokesperson for Aspirus, the Employee must identify himself/herself as spokesperson for Aspirus, and identify his/her level of expertise.
Other guidelines of Communications Made by Employee:
- Proper copyright and reference laws are to be followed by employees when posting online.
- Employees must follow Creative Common license when posting or sharing content from outside sources. Aspirus follows the Attribution Creative Common: “This document or content can be shared but requires attribution from Aspirus and the affiliate creator.”
- If there is an unhappy, rude, or disrespectful comment, concern, or remark posted on any Aspirus social media outlet, Community Manager will handle the situation and work with the individual behind the scenes of the media outlet.
- Shall a media crisis occur, it is the responsibility of the Community Manager to handle the situation as soon as possible, either removing the content, revising the content, or creating new content. The Community Manager will also be responsible for apologizing for any unfortunate crisis situations and contacting those directly impacted.