The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media (Part 2)

By Anyssa Garza, PharmD, BCMAS – Digital Pharmacist Staff

Last week, we covered the 5 Do’s of Social Media. In case you missed it, you can read it here.

To ensure you are on the right track and utilizing social media the right way, we have continued the series and have listed the 5 Don’ts of social media.


  • Don’t write about specific patients. Unless you obtain a written permission from a patient to write about him or her online, never post anything about a specific patient. Even if a patient is thought to be appropriately de-identified, if rare medical problems, age, gender or a specific time frame or location are disclosed, the risk of identification is still present.
  • Don’t extend personal “friend requests” to patients. Personal online “friendships” with patients is not recommended. Do not extend or confirm friend requests with your patients in order to preserve professional boundaries, maintain the integrity of the healthcare provider-patient relationship and decrease the risk of problematic self-disclosures from both parties. If a patient sends you a friend request, you can politely decline the request and can send them a private message explaining the reasons for your declination. You can always invite them to like your business page if they have not done so already.
  • Don’t take information from other sources without giving credit where it is due. In addition to being both illegal and immoral, this can negatively impact how patients, colleagues and other healthcare professionals view your pharmacy and the pharmacy profession. To avoid this, always give credit to the original creator and provide your audience with the means to find where this information came from.
  • Don’t post unprofessional content. This includes profanity, discriminatory language, negative comments about another party (such as an employer, employee, patient, institution or profession), photos of alcohol or other inappropriate materials and incorrect or misinterpreted credentials.
  • Don’t forget to “self-audit” the content you post online. Make sure to routinely monitor your online presence to ensure published content is accurate and appropriate. This also allows for periodic evaluation of how your pharmacy is portrayed and viewed online.

For help creating and evaluating your pharmacy’s social media presence, give us a call at 877-959-7550 or email [email protected].