SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY AND GUIDELINES
I. Outcome Goal:
To provide guidelines outlining how Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) supports institutional communication goals.
VUMC offers support of institutional communication goals, as well as provides social computing guidelines for VUMC faculty, staff, and students engaging in online discourse and identifying themselves with VUMC.
This policy is not intended for internet activities that do not associate or identify a faculty or staff member with VUMC, do not use Vanderbilt email addresses, do not discuss VUMC and are purely about personal matters.
Content owners, for the purpose of this policy, are those assigned the responsibility of maintaining, monitoring, and moderating a VUMC social media platform. Official communications refer to those done in VUMC’s name, (e.g. a Vanderbilt Heart Facebook page).
A. Content Owner – Assigned by department as the individual responsible for monitoring and maintaining web content.
B. Moderator – Assigned by Content Owner and/or department as the individual for moderating comments and postings by internal and external users, including deleting comments and posting that do not meet the criteria set forth in this policy.
C. Social Media Platforms – Technology tools and online spaces for integrating and sharing user-generated content in order to engage constituencies in conversations and allow them to participate in content and community creation. Examples are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
IV. Specific Information:
A. Official Institutional Web 2.0 Communications:
1. Because of the emerging nature of social media platforms these guidelines do not attempt to name every current and emerging platform. Rather, they apply to those cited and any other online platform available and emerging including social networking sites and sites with user-generated content. Examples include but are not limited to the following:
a. You Tube
g. Social media content that is hosted internally and protected by VUNet ID/Password
2. Institutional representation via online social media platforms can only be initiated and authorized through the efforts of the VUMC Marketing, News & Communications (N&C), Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM), and/or Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN) Communications departments. There can be no official VUMC sites or pages on You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. unless they are developed or authorized by the VUMC Marketing, N&C, VUSM and/or VUSN Communications departments. Any sites or pages existing without prior authorization as required above will be subject to review when discovered and may be amended or removed.
3. VUMC official sites on social media platforms can have pages or content areas that are assigned to departments, divisions or programs at VUMC. These policies apply to such pages, as well as content maintained by VUMC Marketing, N&C, VUSM and/or VUSN.
4. Content Owners, as named by their departments or department’s leadership, are responsible for posting and using content and maintaining compliance with VUMC Credo behavior, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and policies related to Conflict of Interest, Privacy, Security, Safety and Human Resources, and FERPA (Federal Education Records Protection Act).
5. Content Owners are responsible for monitoring and maintaining web content as follows:
a. Content is current and accurate.
b. Content Owners engage in communications that are acceptable in the VUMC workplace and respect copyrights and disclosures. Proprietary financial, intellectual property, patient care or similar sensitive or private content may not be revealed.
c. Content Owners are responsible for gaining the expressed consent of all involved parties for the right to distribution or publication of recordings, photos, images, video, text, slideshow presentations, artwork and advertisements whether those rights are purchased or obtained without compensation.
d. Content Owners are responsible for constantly monitoring postings and comments to social media sites, and for deleting postings that do not adhere to our policies.
6. Content Owners and/or Moderators sign a Content Owner/Moderator Terms and Agreement Form. This form is renewable annually and will be monitored by the VUMC Marketing, News & Communications (N&C), Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) and/or Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN) Communication departments.
7. My Health at Vanderbilt is a secure communications portal that is the authorized channel to support email and dialogue with patients and their clinical care providers.
B. Guidelines for Online Professional or Personal Activity:
Online social media allow VUMC faculty, staff, and students to engage in professional and personal conversations. These guidelines apply to faculty, staff and students who identify themselves with VUMC and/or use their Vanderbilt email address in social media platforms such as professional society blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. for deliberate professional engagement or casual conversation. These guidelines apply to private and password protected social media platforms as well as to open social platforms.
1. Follow the same VUMC Credo behavior, HIPAA, Conflict of Interest Policy, Privacy and general civil behavior guidelines cited above including respecting copyrights and disclosures, and not revealing proprietary financial, intellectual property, patient care or similar sensitive or private content.
2. If faculty/staff/students identify themselves as a member of the VUMC faculty or staff or student in any online forum and/or use their Vanderbilt email address, faculty/staff/students make it clear that they are not speaking for VUMC, and what they say is representative of their individual personal views and opinions and not necessarily the views and opinions of VUMC.
3. Faculty and staff and students are thoughtful about how they present themselves as a VUMC faculty, staff or student member in online networks. By virtue of self identifying as part of VUMC in such a network, faculty/staff/students connect themselves to, and reflect upon, VUMC colleagues, managers and even VUMC patients and donors.
4. Remember that all content contributed on all platforms becomes immediately searchable and can be immediately shared. This content immediately leaves the contributing individual faculty/staff/students members’ control forever.
5. If someone or some group offers to pay faculty/staff/students for participating in an online forum in their VUMC role, offers advertising for pay and/or for endorsement, this could constitute conflict of interest and VUMC policies and guidelines apply.
6. If someone from the media or press contacts faculty, staff, or students about posts made in online forums that relate to VUMC in any way, faculty/staff/students alert their manager/leadership and contact News & Communications before responding.
7. Job postings follow Vanderbilt’s Human Resources (HR) established processes. Social Media may not be used in place of HR processes.
8. Marketing, News & Communications, VUSM and VUSN provides some official VUMC and/or VUSM and VUSN information that can be appended to social media sites.
C. Violation of any University policies is inappropriate and may result in disciplinary action, including Performance Management process. Refer to Performance Accountability and Commitment policy and Progressive Discipline policy. Any violation of this policy should be immediately reported to faculty/staff/students’ supervisor/manager or Human Resources Consultant.
V. Web References:
Operations Policy Manual. Retrieved online October 28, 2009
OP 30-10.02 Conflict of Interest – Conflict of Commitment
OP 10-40.01 Confidentiality of Protected Patient Information
OP 10-40.32 Sanctions for Privacy and Information Security
Human Resources Policy Manual. Retrieved October 28, 2009
HR-025 Electronic Communication Policy
Social Media Toolkit for VUMC. Retrieved October 28, 2009
VUMC Compliance Website. Retrieved online October 28, 2009
Vanderbilt University Staff Conflict of Interest and Commitment Policy
VUMC Privacy Office Website. Retrieved October 28, 2009