Healthcare Blog of Dr. Remo Aguilar

Do you want your healthcare professionals or healthcare institutions to have a social media policy?

in Medicine/Social Media by

Yesterday I started a survey  asking healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses and allied medical professionals) if their healthcare institutions have a social media usage policy. (If you’re a healthcare professional you can still vote and comment in that post. ) Now its time to ask our clients, the Filipino patients:

Do you want your healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses allied medical personnel) and /or healthcare institutions (hospitals, clinics) to have a social media policy?

Philippines, the social media capital of the world!

This question is important and highly relevant. Why? Philippines is the social media capital of the world and there’s a surge of content sharing in these social networks. That is according to this report by the Global Web Index. Sharing health related patient information on these social networks threads dangerously on an already greyed (if there is/was) privacy and health information laws here in the Philippines. Without enforced laws or governing policies, a breach of patient’s privacy and confidential information have consequences that pose a threat to the mutual trust between patients and his/her physician or that of his/her healthcare institution.

The other reason is about enhancing patient communication. Social media is  an alternative, revolutionary way in which healthcare professionals or institutions communicate or interact with their patients.  Social media (though research data is lacking on this) could be  a venue for positive reinforcement of actual clinical consults and follow ups. A recent survey also shows that social media is now gaining ground as source of health information in first world countries. The absence of policies regarding its use defaults the interaction to a “free for all” and often negatively affect the overall outcome of these patient-physician  or patient-healthcare institution interactions.

So again, I’m asking you, Filipino patients, or anyone since obviously you are the ones will be ultimately affected by this policy.

Do you want your healthcare professional or healthcare institution to have a social media policy use?

Please vote below and comment (in the comments section) if you wanted to explain your answer. Should you want to maintain anonymous, just email me privately thru this contact page and I will assure you of your confidentiality)

[poll id=”3″]

Dr. Remo-tito Aguilar co-founded #HealthXPh. A board certified orthopedic surgeon, he is previously Chief of Clinics at St. Louis Hospital in Tacurong City and a consultant in Orthopedics at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City. Dr. Aguilar is a healthcare social media evangelist and writes his medical musings at The Cast & Curious (


  1. I voted yes in your survey. As a doctor who keeps some social networking accounts and blogs, I think it's about time that the health care industry recognize the need to formulate policies regarding social media use. I find that doctors are quite cautious about revealing some sensitive information online, in as much that it sometimes it is already restrictive at some point. I have personally experienced this when someone from the admin had me called to the office simply because I commented about the ads in the hospital elevator on facebook (which actually wasn't a comment technically, but a question). He somewhat pointed out that I'm questioning the authority/wisdom of the hospital for posting such ads. However, what is often ignored is how some blog posts/tweets/fb posts of some people are already bordering on libelous especially when they rant on their dissatisfaction or seeming injustice they receive from certain hospital/doctor/nursing staff. I realize there must be some existing "double standard" when it comes to tolerance for criticisms. But is this really the way it should be?

  2. I echo your sentiments doc tess. It's really a question of how much censorship and how much you can say about anything is just enough. What I kn ow is that we should continue to ask questions like what your asking…

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