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The Hidden Risks of Social Media: How it Can Impact Physical Therapy Clinics

Posted On: April 13, 2023

The Hidden Risks of Social Media: How it Can Impact Physical Therapy Clinics

As a physical therapist, staying informed about the latest claim trends in your industry is crucial. Liability claims can arise when patients feel that they have suffered harm due to professional misconduct or negligence and being aware of emerging trends can help you take proactive measures to minimize your risk of liability. One trend that has gained prominence in recent years is related to the use of social media. As more physical therapists utilize social media for marketing, appointment scheduling, and patient communication, there is an increased risk of liability related to breaches of privacy, defamation, and other online communication-related issues.

What You Can Do

To minimize your risk of liability as a physical therapist, it is imperative to maintain accurate and comprehensive documentation of your treatments and communications with patients. Such documentation can support your care decisions and serve as evidence in defending against any claims of negligence. It is also essential to be mindful of your online presence and communication. Exercise caution when using social media during patient care, and avoid making any statements or engaging in any behavior that could be deemed unprofessional or inappropriate. Additionally, ensure that any communication complies with relevant laws and regulations and is documented outside of social media platforms to uphold patient privacy.

Physical therapists should consider developing a social media policy that standardizes the scope of communication with patients. Such a policy would promote professional and ethical conduct, safeguard patient privacy and confidentiality, and establish clear boundaries between personal and professional use of social media. Without a policy in place, physical therapists may unknowingly violate ethical guidelines or compromise patient privacy, and there may be confusion about what types of communication are appropriate or permissible on social media. A well-crafted social media policy can help navigate these issues and provide clear guidance for communicating with patients online.


To learn more, talk to your VGM Insurance Account Manager or contact us today at or 866.809.9160.


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