A Rhode Island doctor was fined, disciplined and lost some hospital privileges after she inadvertently shared patient info on her Facebook page.
The case highlights the challenges and ethical dilemmas health care workers face when using social media. Dr. Alexandra Thran wrote about her experiences working in the ER on her Facebook page — careful to not include patient names or other identifying information.
Or so she thought.
An unidentified third party was able to guess the identity of one of Dr. Thran’s patients based on her description of the person’s injuries. This month, the state board found her guilty of unprofessional conduct, although it noted that Dr. Thran didn’t intend to disclose any patient’s information.The board also fined her $500.
As a result of the board’s action, Dr. Thran lost her privileges at one of the two hospitals where she worked.