Saturday, March 06, 2010

Railing against the tide

Several months ago, I wrote about the futility of banning social media in a hospital. I argued that it was counterproductive and a waste of resources. This point of view has been supported in other forums.

Now, I learn that the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics organization is banning Facebook and other such applications as "inappropriate for the health care workplace."

I shared this article with e-Patient Dave, who replied, "The instant killer question on this issue, from the people I talk to, is 'So, what do they do about people doing it on their phones?'"

Indeed.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

What about saftey issues, like computer viruses? At my workplace, Facebook, MySpace and other social media were banned because a virus was introduced to the network via MySpace, wreaking havoc on our network.

Paul Levy said...

Transferred from Facebook:

Nancy: Yes, you will be pushing people to texting while walking the halls - as one who watched a doctor have his eye socket broken when he turned a corner and ran into another doctor doing what he was doing - dictating - I'd say let's keep it safe on our laptops and desktops.

Steve: My wife's hospital banned it so instead of my wife taking 2 seconds to send me a message she spends more time than that just dialing to call me.

Cyndi: Actually, I believe it has made my co-workers closer...we keep friends who have worked with us informed.....we know and celebrate life milestones, be it happy or sad, and we share vacations and family events, and just overall make us a closer team so we work like an oiled gear.....we just never post status of pts.....and its all good!

Nancy: I absolutely agree with Cyndi...

Farmer Bob said...

Are they banning the water cooler and newspapers, too?

There are so many ways for viruses and other malware to infect computers. A simple ban on specific sites is ineffective, especially in today's interconnected world. There are better ways to protect network and client integrity.

Similar bans were tried when the world wide web arose. Does anyone deny access to the web today? Social networks, with their broadcasting and narrowcasting abilities, are a growing source of immediate information, and their utility is apparent. I predict such bans will not last.

Anonymous said...

I work at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and can share that a critical detail is missing from your posting. UIHC is blocking social networking only on workstations that are considered 'clinical workstations' - these are specific workstations throughout the organization in inpatient, outpatient, and operating rooms, intended for clinical documentation, order entry, and results reporting. This comes after several patient safety incidents where personal use of a clinical workstation may have been a factor. Social networking sites are still available to computers in offices, classrooms, cafeterias and other spaces.

Anonymous said...

March 8, 2010

Dear Paul-

I think, if it was you, you wrote a wise comment on the Boston Globe section response to Joan Venocchis recent column on cell ban in the state of Massachusetts. The House overwhelming passed the bill banning cells and the Senate came close 16-18. This will be finalized soon with a committee to be appointed. Your voice, along with other hospital leaders as a letter to the editor of the Boston Globe underscoring how important it is to pass a cell ban with a hands free only provision would make a big impact. Would you consider? I am a private citizen who is concerned about the issue but I know that the Safe Roads alliance here is Mass is working very hard at it.Jeff Larson is the President. You could call them and reach him via there contact information if you need more information. He is also the GM of the Smart Routes. The Mass hospital leaders weighing in before the vote-soon- via the Boston Globe would help prevent certain Senators who held this up last summer -from doing it again. This would not be in the best interest of public safety.

Thanks for your consideration.

A concerned citizen speaking for many others.

Paul Levy said...

Thanks for the heads up. Will follow up.

Michael Kirsch, M.D. said...

No Facebook?
No twitter?
No texting?
No e-mail?
No cell phones?

What will folks do all day?