At Vanderbilt University Medical Center, we recognize the importance of social media as means of connecting, engaging and communicating. VUMC was one of the first medical centers in the country to develop a social media policy to guide use of social media by its workforce.
The goal of our policy and this toolkit is to help you, as a member of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center workforce, participate in social media effectively. Importantly, we also want to help avoid wasting effort or time or getting you or VUMC into trouble.
What this means for your personal social media activity
You likely have a profile in one or more social networks. You may also comment on blogs or online communities and news sites. If so, please be sure to read the policy to make sure you understand how it applies to your activity.
Here's the short version: all other policies apply in social media, including HIPAA and our CREDO.
If you post on on social media in a way that associates you with VUMC, please make it clear you do not speak for the medical center or health system. This can be as simple as adding "views my own" or a similar disclaimer in your account bio.
Social media users can see that you're a member of the VUMC workforce from bio details that list VUMC as your employer, photos that include identifiable VUMC landmarks or your VUMC ID badge, and disclosure that you work at VUMC in your post history.
What you post online impacts your personal reputation, and when you post on social media, that post leaves your control forever. When you associate yourself with VUMC in public forums like social media, what you post may also reflect on VUMC, your colleagues and the health care profession. Increasingly, users report potential concerns. VUMC follows up in those cases according to our policies.
VUMC's official brand social media
VUMC's nationally recognized social media team has been charged by VUMC leadership to guide the strategy for the medical center and to manage and oversee accounts on behalf of the VUMC brand.
This team continually assesses trends, and pilots activity in new and emerging platforms. Through this activity, VUMC (including Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital) reached a daily average of 500,000 users last year. Fans and followers of the primary brand channels in social media total more than 580,000.
We encourage you to follow our accounts, engage in conversations and share content with your family and friends. As members or our workforce, you are important "brand ambassadors."
Sharing the great work that you and your colleagues do can help VUMC attract patients and referrals, prospective trainees and potential employees; support our efforts in fund-raising, and further our mission by informing others about medical research and discovery as well as ways to improve health and prevent or best treat illness.
Do you want to participate in social media on behalf of VUMC?
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Review the tools and resources on these pages.
- Follow/like one or more of the VUMC accounts. Share information posted on these public channels with your own networks in social media -- you are an important voice in our community.
- Visit, follow and share on your own personal social accounts content from My Southern Health, VUMC's health and wellness information site, and Discover, VUMC's site aimed at peer physicians and scientists highlighting our research and clinical advances.
- Submit news, announcements and photos of staff to the social media team to consider for posting on our current social media sites at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love recognizing teams and sharing their stories during national recognition weeks and other events.
- If you're interested in discussing how social media might help you meet your department's business goals and objectives, request a consultation. We'll talk with you about your goals, your strategy, and the resources required. Before any new account is approved, you'll need to identify a primary moderator, who will take this on as part of their job duties, and a back-up moderator in case of emergencies.
Accounts representing VUMC are subject to Vanderbilt University trademarks review.
Be aware that the VUMC Social Media Policy requires that any accounts that use the Vanderbilt name, logo or variations of them or that purport to speak on behalf of a VUMC clinic, department or other entity must be approved by Strategic Marketing prior to creation. In addition to supporting you with our team's expertise, this is a requirement of the Trademark Licensing Agreement that VUMC has with VU.