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Social Media FAQs

Below, "Johns Hopkins" refers to all participating organizations covered by the Johns Hopkins Health System Social Media Policy.

  • No. The ease of social networking (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.) does not exempt it from ethical and legal (HIPAA) obligations regarding the protection of patient privacy and the confidentiality of patient information.

    While the desire to express sympathy or grief when a beloved patient passes away or to celebrate the success of a patient reaching milestones is understood, there are risks involved.

    Despite not identifying a patient by name or image, you may have mutual connections online and unknowingly release HIPAA-protected personal health information.

    Per Johns Hopkins policy, you may not share patient information online, including de-identified information.

    Learn more about the Johns Hopkins privacy policy.

  • No. You should not post photos of family members of a Johns Hopkins patient or guests visiting the hospital in any capacity. Only post photos of your co-workers if you have their permission to do so.

  • If you see a colleague posting something concerning on social media that does not align with Johns Hopkins’ core values, such as exhibiting signs of aggression or threatening others, please submit the incident online via JohnsHopkinsSpeak2Us.com. You can also submit the event to HERO.

    If the colleague’s social media activity is a possible HIPAA violation, you can report it to hipaa@jhmi.edu. Please copy socialmedia@jhmi.edu.

  • No. You are not required to friend, follow or connect with your supervisor on social media.

  • You should delete the comment immediately, but know that deleting a comment on social media does not make it disappear. For good measure, please reach out to the HIPAA office via the form. There will be no repercussions for an honest mistake.

  • No. Displaying information anonymously does not exclude you from the HIPAA policy. The policy applies even if you do not identify yourself as a Johns Hopkins employee online.

  • Please reach out to JHM Marketing and Communications before creating a social media site or launching any social media project tied to Johns Hopkins. This can be done through submitting a request to JHM Marketing and Communications at hopkinsmedicine.org/webrequest.

  • If you are being harassed by a fellow employee, you should submit the incident via JohnsHopkinsSpeak2Us.com.

  • Write in the first person and make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of Johns Hopkins.

  • We appreciate your support! Your connections likely put a lot of trust in what you share with them. If you are sharing information about Johns Hopkins and the services provided, you must disclose your connection with Johns Hopkins. This is not only the right thing to do, as your connections would likely want to know this when evaluating your comment, but this disclosure is also required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

    Examples could be:

    I’m so honored to work at Johns Hopkins, where innovative research and amazing treatments like XYZ are taking place.

    OR

    This new procedure for XYZ is lifesaving for anyone suffering with XYZ! #HopkinsProud

  • If contacted by a blogger or media representative on social media about the business of Johns Hopkins, notify Marketing and Communications at JHMedia@jhmi.edu.

Resources

If you have additional questions about the social media policy or this FAQ, or if you would like to inquire more about using social media as an employee or a department, please contact a social media team member at socialmedia@jhmi.edu or reach out to your HR Business Partner.

Please note, these guidelines cover the appropriate use of social media within the participating organizations mentioned in the Johns Hopkins Health System Social Media Policy. These guidelines are not intended to impede employees from engaging in concerted activity in accordance with the National Labor Relations Act.

View Social Media Policy 
View HIPAA Policy

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