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Social media tools such as Facebook and Linkedin are increasingly being used for personal, professional, and business communication, as well as for patient care. As medical professionals held to high standards of personal, professional, ethical, and moral conduct, oncology pharmacy practitioners have a responsibility to use social media appropriately.
The Canadian Association of Pharmacy in Oncology (CAPhO) encourages oncology pharmacy practitioners who use social media to do so in a professional, responsible, and respectful manner.
To achieve that goal, oncology pharmacy practitioners should:
- Carefully consider the purposes and potential outcomes of participation in social media and develop the strategies and skills required to effectively utilize social media to meet their goals;
- Exercise professional judgment and adhere to professional standards and legal requirements in both private and public social media communications;
- Ensure postings on social media are subject to the same professional standards and ethical considerations as other personal or public interactions;
- Distinguish between personal and professional information within social media and make conscientious decisions regarding who will have access to this information;
- Be conscious that content posted to social media may impact reputations or careers for years to come, reflect poorly upon the oncology pharmacy profession, or undermine patient confidence in the care provided;
- Realize that the apparent anonymity provided by social media does not release oncology pharmacy professionals from their ethical obligation to disclose potential conflicts of interest, especially when representing themselves as professionals; and
- Recognize that although social media can and should be used to promote healthy debate about health care and oncology pharmacy practice, such debate should be conducted in a respectful manner.