Social Media Screening in Digital Healthcare

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Digital technology has revolutionized many industries across the board, and healthcare is no exception. While medical technology has enjoyed consistently profitable margins for decades, digital health technology has entered the field as a promising disruptor. Like any disruptor, innovations in regulation are exciting but require the evolution of not only the technology implemented but also the employees operating and overseeing the technology.

As a result, it is more imperative than ever for healthcare companies to keep themselves apprised of digital fluency and proper digital hygiene habits to best steward future technologies. 

The future of healthcare is here

Digital technology has long permeated the private and professional lives of the workforce, and healthcare is no exception. Amidst the overall $500 billion medical technology field, the digital health industry has rapidly expanded from one billion in 2010 to $21 billion in global funding in 2020. Similarly, the telemedicine industry is projected to be worth nearly $500 billion by 2030. As more digital communications, health apps, and data storage permeate the market, the institutions purchasing these new technologies must understand how the average employee will interface with them. Digital technology may be streamlining how companies deliver services. Still, if that technology is not well-stewarded at the end of the day, companies risk opening themselves up to the risk of HIPAA violations.

Data breaches are a concern

Programs that make health data more easily transferable and storable have given rise to deepening concerns for data security. A Bitglass report demonstrated that 21% of data breaches in 2020 were caused by unauthorized disclosure, while hacking incidents caused 67%. Similarly, a Verizon report found that two-thirds of data breaches in the healthcare industry were insider attacks. On top of that, regular incidents of “floor” employees like nurses and med techs fired for posting HIPAA-protected information on social media contribute to a more significant PR problem. The perception is that institutions do not handle the responsibility they bear of bringing technology into the workplace.

To mitigate the risk of negligence or data leaks, healthcare institutions are responsible for creating an infrastructure to ensure that their workforce responsibly handles increasingly complex, nuanced digital programs. 

Hiring infrastructure may be vital in mitigating risk

Perhaps one of the simplest ways to mitigate risk is to shift ground-floor hiring policies regarding the ideal candidate to include digital life. The term “digital hygiene practices” tends to pop up around cybersecurity or the pervasiveness of technology in everyday life--i.e., maintaining password strength, limiting screen time, etc. However, a broader definition of the term could mean expanding expectations of behavioral integrity to digital life. Instead of thinking of the internet as a closed-circuit world, healthcare companies have a unique opportunity to reformulate what it means to be a model employee. If it’s not okay to say it to someone in the workplace, why would it be okay to say it online? To instigate this type of change, hiring objectives for employees might shift their emphasis from skilled performance and behavior. A candidate may be highly qualified and desperately needed, but how are they performing their duties?

Screening can help navigate the transition into innovative futures: 

One of the most apparent metrics of a candidate’s character is their behavior, measured best through a track record. Personal and professional references may not give the most transparent picture of a candidate, and everyday behavior doesn’t appear on a criminal background check. Another solution is needed. Fortunately, social media screening has emerged as a viable supplement to hiring practices interested in more closely honing in on a candidate’s character. As more and more of public life moves into the digital sphere, social media reports have become a valuable tool for healthcare institutions to assess candidate behavior, specifically potentially problematic business-related behavior like intolerance, violence, and sexually explicit material. Social Intelligence partners with healthcare organizations to create an efficient, comprehensive battery of screening tools to serve the industry’s specific needs.

 As healthcare organizations negotiate the future of public health, Social Intelligence is proud to provide them with tangible, achievable structural changes that will have lasting effects on the future of healthcare.