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Approved May 2022

The use of social media has grown exponentially in the last decade and continues to reshape how society communicates and shares information. Social media can have many positive uses in health care; it can be used to establish professional connections, share best practices in providing evidenced based care, and educate professionals and patients. However, communication about professional issues can cross the line and violate patients’ privacy and confidentiality, whether done intentionally or not. Health professionals, including students in health profession disciplines, have a legal and ethical obligation to protect the privacy and confidentiality of each patient’s health information and privacy. The unauthorized or improper disclosure of this information, in any form, violates state and federal law and may result in civil and criminal penalties. Health professionals, including students in health care profession disciplines, have an obligation to respect and guard each patient’s privacy and confidentiality at all times.

Postings on social media sites must never be considered private, regardless of privacy settings. Any social media communication or post has the potential to become accessible to people outside of the intended audience and must be considered public. Once posted, the individual who posted the information has no control over how the information will be used. Students should never assume information is private or will not be shared with an unintended audience. Search engines can find posts, even when deleted, years after the original post. Never assume that deleted information is no longer available.


  • Patients (and their families) and clinical experiences with patients must never be discussed on any social media site. A patient’s identifying information is only to be discussed with faculty and other health care providers who have a need to know and have a role in the patient’s care. Discussion of a patient’s case may occur with faculty and peers in a course related assignment in a place where such discussion can’t be heard by people who are not involved in the clinical experience. Patients (and their families) are never to be discussed in a negative manner. At no time during course discussions is the patient to be identified by name or any other personally identifying information such as any relationship to the student. Students are prohibited from using any form of social media to discuss patients, their families or any of their patients/ families medical or health care information.
    No photos or videos of clients/patients (and their families) or of any client/patient health records may be taken on any personal electronic devices (such as, but not limited to, cameras, smartphones and tablets), even if the patient gives you permission.
  • No photos or videos of patients/clients (and their families) or clinical field work or internships may be taken on personal electronic devices (such as, but not limited to, cameras, smartphones and tablets), unless the video or photo is a specific requirement of the internship experience and is requested in writing by an authorized representative of the clinical site.
  • Students may not post messages that: incite imminent lawless action, are a serious expression of intent to inflict bodily harm upon a person, are unlawful harassment, are a violation of any law prohibiting discrimination, are defamatory or are otherwise unlawful.
  • Students are prohibited from uploading tests/quizzes, faculty generated presentations, or faculty information to any website.
  • Students are prohibited from claiming or even implying that they are speaking on behalf of the University.


Students may be subject to disciplinary action or removal from a clinical experience if they:

  • Violate University policy or HIPAA regulations;
  • Share any confidential patient and/or University-related information;
  • Make unprofessional or disparaging comments or posts related to patients, patients’ families, or employees of third party organizations which provide clinical experiences for University students.


Printed Name:

Student’s Signature:


Revised 5/12/2022 A. Trump