SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY SCOPE
This policy applies to all employees of Victoria Harbour Medical Centre which encompasses all employees of Victoria Harbour Medical Centre and Management.
This policy covers employee interaction and representation of Victoria Harbour Medical Centre across all communication channels and social media platforms
To define the rules for each employee when engaging in social collaboration, regardless of toolset, forum or medium. To also uphold the professional standards of Victoria Harbour Medical Centre and Victoria Harbour Medical Centre Management.
Victoria Harbour Medical Centre recognises employees use social media and that the lines between work and home are becoming increasingly difficult to identify with the use of mobile devices.
Employees are personally responsible for the content they publish in a personal or professional capacity on any social media platform.
This policy does not apply to staff members’ personal use of social media platforms where they make no real or perceived reference to Victoria Harbour Medical Centre, it’s staff, it’s clients/patients, services, business partners, government, suppliers or other stakeholders.
Social media includes the various online technology tools that enable people to communicate easily via the internet to share information and resources. People use social media to talk, participate, share, network and bookmark online. Social media can include text, audio, video, images, podcasts and other multimedia communications, and is also known as Social Networking. Social media includes, but is not limited to:
Social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus)
- Video and photo sharing (Flickr, YouTube)
- Blogs, including personal and corporate blogs
- Online forums and discussion boards
- Wikis (Wikipedia)
In this policy, employees include permanent staff and executives, contractors, temporary staff, trainees and students on placements.
In this policy, ‘the practice’ may be used interchangeably with the employers trading name:
Victoria Harbour Medical Centre
No images, content or confidential information from within Victoria Harbour Medical Centres or Management is to be posted on any social media platform without express permission of Victoria Harbour Medical Centre Management Team. Employees should not respond to comments and reviews left by patients and clients without prior authorisation from the management team.
Where an employee’s comments or profile can identify them as a Victoria Harbour Medical Centre employee, that employee:
- Must ensure any online communication is consistent with Victoria Harbour Medical Centre Code of Conduct, values, policies and applicable laws.
- Write on all postings that the stated views are your own and are not those of Victoria Harbour Medical Centre
- Must not imply you are authorised to speak as a representative of Victoria Harbour Medical Centre
- Must not make any comment or post any material that might otherwise cause damage to Victoria Harbour Medical Centre reputation or bring it into disrepute.
- Must not post material that includes confidential/proprietary information or trade secrets, or information that is offensive, obscene, defamatory, libellous, threatening, harassing, bullying, discriminatory, hateful, racist, or sexist.
- Must not use a Victoria Harbour Medical Centre logo or insignia without written permission from a line manager.
- Can only disclose and discuss publicly available information.
- Victoria Harbour Medical Centre reserves the right to initiate action against any staff member, in accordance with the organisation’s Disciplinary Procedure, who uses social media in a manner that could be considered inappropriate or not consistent with this policy or any other Victoria Harbour Medical Centre policy.
- Management will consider the nature and severity of the post, the source of the post, whether a Victoria Harbour Medical Centre or management team was named, if the post is public, if other workers have seen the post, if the Victoria Harbour Medical Centre name has been damaged or the Health Industry has been damaged, and or if the comment was impulsive or deliberate when considering any disciplinary action.
- Disciplinary action may include termination of employment or disengagement of external contractors.
DISCLOSURE OF INAPPROPRIATE USE
Where an employee becomes aware of inappropriate or unlawful online content that relates to Victoria Harbour Medical Centre, or content that may otherwise have been published in breach of this policy the situation and circumstances should be reported immediately to the Practice Manager or Management team.
Victoria Harbour Medical Centre Related Use
In some instances, an employee’s manager may ask an employee to participate in an online forum in a Victoria Harbour Medical Centre job-specific capacity.
Prior to participation, the employee should:
• Discuss involvement with his/her manager
• Ensure they are familiar with relevant policies and protocols, and agree on parameters for the project
This policy does not discourage nor unduly limit employees using social media for personal expression or other online activities in their personal life.
Employees should be aware of and understand the potential risks and damage to Victoria Harbour Medical Centre that can occur, either directly or indirectly from their personal use of social media and should comply with this policy to ensure that the risk is minimised.
Employees are personally responsible for content published in their personal capacity on any form of social media platform. When in doubt, employees can seek guidance from the Practice Manager on how to comply with the following obligations.
To avoid breaching this policy, employees must:
- Only disclose and discuss publicly available information
- Ensure that all content published is accurate and not misleading and complies with all relevant practice policies and other legal and professional requirements
- Expressly state that stated views are personal and are not representative of the practice
- Behave politely and respectfully
Employees must not:
- Post material that is offensive, obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, bullying, discriminatory, hateful, racist, sexist, infringes copyright, constitutes a contempt of court,
breaches a Court suppression order, or is otherwise unlawful
- Imply that they are authorised to speak as a representative of the company, nor give the impression that the views expressed are those of the company
- Use the identity or likeness of another employee, contractor or other member of the company
- Use their practice email address or any practice logos or insignia that may give the impression of official support or endorsement of their personal comment
- Use or disclose any confidential information or personal information obtained in their capacity as an employee or contractor of the company
- Post material that is, or might be construed as, threatening, harassing, bullying or discriminatory towards another employee or contractor of the Practice
- Comment or post any material that might otherwise cause damage to the practice’s reputation or bring it into disrepute
When accessing social media while at work, you must do so in accordance with Victoria Harbour Medical Centre’s Internet and Email Usage policy, which requires you to use these resources reasonably, in a manner that does not interfere with your work, and is not inappropriate or excessively accessed.
Examples of reasonable use include:
- Accessing Facebook during an official break time
- Replying to a family member’s email
- Paying bills online during a meal break
It does not include promoting personal business or private enterprise
REFERENCES AND ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS
Code of Conduct Policy
Bullying & Harassment Policy
Data and Security Breach Protocol
Internet and Email Usage Policy
- Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth)
- Fair Work Act 2009 (Commonwealth)
Standards/Codes of Practice/Industry Guidelines
- Social Media and the Medical Profession: guidelines for medical staff and medical students, Australian Medical Association
- Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) Social Media Policy
Victoria Harbour Medical Centre has taken all reasonable steps in the development of this policy, to make its content consistent with the proper discharge of its obligations under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 and all related state and federal laws.
- The date the policy is due for review no greater than two years from the date of endorsement
- The Victoria Harbour Medical Centre’s Management team is responsible for reviewing this policy