The standards expected of doctors do not change because they are communicating through social media rather than face to face or through other traditional media, but new challenges can arise.

This section explains the benefits and risks to consider when using social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or YouTube for patient care or discussing patients and their care.

It includes advice on how to avoid breaching confidentiality. It also deals with other issues like what to do if a patient contacts you through your personal profile, and managing conflicts of interest in the online environment.

The section also deals with remote consultations (over the phone, via video link or online) and addresses the question  of when it is safe to prescribe without meeting a patient face to face.

Social media

Definition of social media

Obligations in respect of social media

Social media and patient confidentiality

Social media and the practitioner-patient relationship

Conflicts of interest

Precautions when using social media

Telemedicine

Concepts in telemedicine

Telemedicine and the practitioner-patient relationship

Telemedicine and professional duties

Telemedicine and confidentiality

Telemedicine and informed consent