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Social Media and the Modern Impact of Informatics

Introduction

Social media and the Internet are an integral part of the modern world, and most of the population uses them daily and cannot imagine their life without them. For this reason, the influence of information that comes to people from numerous channels is significant, and one can find its traces in almost all spheres of life. Today, social media is used by companies to get and keep customers, publish important information, and get feedback. Simultaneously, the information that users share on social networks can affect their work, study, and social life. Consequently, one of the essential skills of any user is to critically analyze the new information and their own publications to avoid negative consequences for their reputation. The informatics and the Internet are also crucial for the organization, since they allow companies to use them to improve the quality of services. For this reason, this paper examines three examples of using social media and electronic systems to demonstrate the impact of the Internet and modern informatics on healthcare.

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Usage of Social Media and Smartphone in Health Care Facilities

The situation at the Naval Hospital Jacksonville in Florida is one example of how social media and information affects all areas of human life. In this case, one can see several relationships and consequences of staffers’ deed. First, the employees felt that their posts would be popular, since they succumbed to social media’s influence, in which offensive publications are often a technique to attract attention through irony and sarcasm. At the same time, many people suffered because of their posts: the parents of the children who appeared on the video, the staffers themselves, the hospital management, and even other users who found these publications offensive.

If I were to write a hospital’s policy on smartphone and social media usage, I would look at medical associations and other hospitals’ recommendations. Firstly, I would prohibit the use of smartphones unless absolutely necessary as they can be dangerous for patients. Bartholomew (2018) provides many examples of such situations where nurses and doctors did not notice important factors because of smartphones. It is also necessary to prohibit the publication of posts that contain any, even random, information about patients because they can reveal their confidentiality. Employees also have to be required to mention in their posts that they express only personal opinions if they publish any posts about controversial issues to avoid harming the hospital’s reputation. These rules could help prevent situations like the Naval Hospital and allow managers to punish employees who violate them for legal reasons and protect their organizations ethically and legally.

In this case, the hospital management has several liabilities to remedy the damage inflicted on its reputation. First, the hospital must fire staffers and create or revise a policy on smartphone and social media usage, and monitor its implementation. The first two steps were performed at the Naval Hospital Jacksonville (Finley, 2017). The last step is especially important as most hospital personnel ignore these rules, which leads to many accidents (Bartholomew, 2018). Next, the hospital needs to apologize to the parents of the children, give comments to the press, and publish an official apology and explanation on its pages. It is also possible that the hospital would face the legal consequence and be obligated to pay compensation to the families of the children if they file a claim. However, with a timely response and a sincere apology, the hospital can protect its reputation.

Social Media and Employment

Social media play a significant role in the life of a modern person, since they are a source of information, a place for communication, and distribution of important news. In addition, social media posts often reflect the character of the person, his or her preferences, and attitudes. As the previous case demonstrates, it is also crucial for employers to access their employees’ pages to track their impact on the company’s reputation. However, since social networks do not always display complete and real information, employers should not make decisions based on them to avoid discrimination and privacy violations.

It is often critical for employers to monitor their employees’ social media to control posts and discourage inappropriate content. For example, this approach is especially vital for politicians, top businesspeople, celebrities, and other leaders of public opinion. However, as the Naval Hospital Jacksonville case demonstrates, sometimes the publication of even ordinary employees can cause scandal. For this reason, current employers may have access to viewing employees’ social media to verify their compliance with the organization’s policies.

At the same time, making a decision based on social media is unethical and discriminatory. First, the information on social networks usually relates to a person’s personality, but cannot fully reflect him or her as an employee. For example, an SMM specialist may be expected to have a profile with thousands of subscribers and publications, but a person can value his or her privacy and not tell other people about personal life. However, this aspect does not mean that this specialist cannot do the job well and promote the page of other users. Publications on social networks also can show a person from a better side than in real life. Consequently, if an HR manager chooses from several candidates, injustice may arise because social networks play a smaller role in the life of one person. Lam (2016) notes that companies may face legal consequences by “crossing the lines of discrimination, infringement on personal privacy, and / or interference with employees’ concerted activities protected by US law” (420). Hence, social media cannot be the key factor in making a decision.

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At the same time, information from social networks can help identify candidates who can be irresponsible in their work or have other significant flaws. For example, discriminatory comments, photographs, or videos of inappropriate content can demonstrate that the person is not suitable for position of a nurse. Thus, social networks can be an additional source of information about a candidate, but they cannot have a significant impact on employers’ decision-making. However, as many companies continue to use this approach, users must carefully analyze all their publications to avoid harm for their reputation due to inappropriate comments or photos.

Relationship Between Accreditation Decisions, Reimbursement, Quality of care, and Informatics

Healthcare consists of complex tools and mechanisms system that aims to provide the best possible service to patients. This interconnection of elements is also direct for such concepts as accreditation decisions, reimbursement, and informatics as they are all aimed at improving quality of care. Accreditation of healthcare facilities means that the hospitals or clinics adhere to all work standards with patients, health care providers, and managers to provide the highest quality services (Hebda et al., 2019). At the same time, accreditation is a mandatory requirement for hospitals’ reimbursement, since it confirms that fund will be used to benefit patients (Grepperud & Pedersen, 2020). Reimbursement allows hospitals to provide quality services to patients regardless of their income level as they receive financial support for healthcare needs such as diagnosing, running tests, and treating. Consequently, the quality and availability of medical services are at a high level for all patients if the hospital has a reimbursement system.

Informatics also contributes to improving the quality of services, since programs and technologies allow healthcare professionals to store patient information safely, as well as have quick access to it. However, for this purpose, all healthcare professionals must be competent to use the technology and fill the information, and programmers should provide a unified and elaborate system to keep data accurately. This approach helps professionals avoid the loss of data, since they are stored and transmitted in electronic systems; therefore, doctors can quickly assess the patient’s condition by looking at his and her medical history. Informatics also allows healthcare managers to control the supply of medicines, collect statistics, and make reports to improve the quality of service at the state or national level. Consequently, healthcare informatics is one of the means to obtain hospital accreditation and a method of collecting and storing information to track health trends and improve the quality of care.

Conclusion

Therefore, a study of three options for the use of informatics and social media demonstrated that they affect virtually every aspect of healthcare work from hiring to providing quality patient services. Today, social networks are a source of information about a person’s life, which HR managers often use for the process of candidates selection. This approach is unethical, but it can benefit and influence employers’ decisions. In addition, social media can become a source of problems for employees and organizations if the quality and context of publications are not controlled. However, the most useful function of modern informatics is the organization and transmission of patient data in electronic systems, which simplifies the work of healthcare professionals and improves the quality of services. Consequently, modern technologies can have different effects depending on the goals and skills of the people who use them.

References

Bartholomew, K. (2018). Not so smart: Cell phone use hurts our patients and profession. American Journal of Nursing, 118(6), 11. Web.

Finley, T. (2017). Navy Hospital Removes Staffers For Calling Babies ‘Mini Satans’ On Social Media. HuffPost. Web.

Grepperud, S., & Pedersen, P. A. (2020). Accreditation in regulated markets. Managerial and Decision Economics. Web.

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Hebda, T. Hunter, K. & Czar, P. (2019). Handbook of informatics for nurses and healthcare professionals (6th ed). Pearson.

Lam, H. (2016). Social media dilemmas in the employment context. Employee Relations, 38 (3), 420-437. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, January 15). Social Media and the Modern Impact of Informatics. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/social-media-and-the-modern-impact-of-informatics/

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StudyCorgi. "Social Media and the Modern Impact of Informatics." January 15, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/social-media-and-the-modern-impact-of-informatics/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Social Media and the Modern Impact of Informatics." January 15, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/social-media-and-the-modern-impact-of-informatics/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Social Media and the Modern Impact of Informatics'. 15 January.

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