Social Media Guidelines
Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation, and Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center
User Agreement Policy – Social Media
Terms of Usage
The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA), Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation (HPNF), and the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center (HPCC) sponsor member-only online communities (e.g. listservs, Socious) and social media sites that are owned and operated by HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC (hereafter referred to interchangeably as social media or social technology).
HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC provide social technology to interested members to promote professional development and stimulate discussion.
- The purpose of online communities and social media is to provide a forum for the exchange of information relating to palliative care and the practice of hospice and palliative nursing. Any information posted in online communities or social media sponsored by HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC must be related to this purpose.
- A member may send an e-mail to an online community or social media site only from her Special Interest Group (SIG)–registered e-mail address. If this e-mail address changes, the member will not receive postings from these online communities. If e-mails are being forwarded from an old e-mail address to a new one, the member will continue to receive SIG communications but will be unable to post a question or response to the SIG
- Information shared within an online community or social media site does not constitute medical or professional advice. As such, postings should not be construed as any of the following:
a. professional opinion;
b. recommendation or endorsement of a course of treatment for a particular patient; or
c. practice guidelines that exclude clinical assessment of a particular patient.
- HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC do not guarantee that subject matter shared within an online community or social media site is the most accurate or current information on the subject or topic.
- Unless explicitly stated, HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC do not endorse, support, sanction, or encourage any opinions, comments, or statements posted within an online community or social media site.
- The online community members-only section and other social media are not intended to be used for commercial messages. The mention of any products, services, or research does not imply endorsement by HPNA, HPNF, or HPCC.
- When making posts or reviewing products, research, or the like, the member should be aware that all comments are subject to libel, slander, and antitrust laws.
- HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC believe that anonymous postings defeat/ undermine the purposes of an online community and are not consistent with the expectation of a professional level of dialogue. Therefore the HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC member agrees to:
a. Sign all messages with her name, affiliation, and e-mail address to enable personal responses.
b. Include the subject, theme, or topic of the posting in the “Subject” line. Many people do not open messages with blank “Subject” lines when they do not know the sender.
c. Respond to all communication in a respectful manner and adhere to the following conventions:
i. Using “Reply” or “Reply All” to respond to a message will send the message to the entire group (that is, the SIG e-mail address will be in the “To” line).
ii. To respond to the sender without sending the message to the entire group, use “Forward” and copy and paste the individual’s e-mail address in the “To” line.
iii. Do not respond “Yes” to a “Read Receipt” because the message will be sent to all members of the online community.
iv. When requested, please send attachments to entire group. This stops “Me too” responses.
d. Do not start a new topic within a stream of e-mails without changing the “Subject” line.
- Communication should not include any statements that bully, discriminate, or harass on the basis of race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, or other factors.
- Postings should not be abusive, defamatory, hateful, obscene, offensive, profane, threatening, or vulgar, or contain any such material.
- Any posting that contains inappropriate content may be removed or censored by HPNA, HPNF, or HPCC.
- HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC members must comply at all times with the Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (Privacy Rule) and the Electronic Security Rule (Security Rule) established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to implement the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
2. Information posted to online communities and social media will not be treated as confidential. Therefore, a member must not post any information that could identify a patient by name or other identifying features or characteristics, or any other individually identifiable Patient Health Information as defined under the Privacy Rule.
- HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC members should ensure that postings do not violate intellectual property, copyright, or other rights. By posting material to an online community or social media site, the member grants HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC, and users of the site the nonexclusive right and license to display, copy, publish, distribute, transmit, print, and use such information or other material.
- HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC members should not post any messages that encourage or facilitate other members to arrive at any agreement that either expressly or in an implied manner leads to the fixing of prices or terms of service, boycotting of business, or other conduct to restrict free trade. Such topics include, for example, the prices of products or services, professional salaries, discounts on products or services, terms or conditions of sale, incentives, profit margins or cost data, market shares, allocation of customers, rejection and termination of customers, and proprietary information that may violate federal or state antitrust laws.
- HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC members may not invade of the privacy rights of others (e.g., by including addresses, telephone numbers, or other personal information about third parties without their consent).
- Only HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC registered members should access online communities and social media offered by HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC. Members may not provide their account information to nonmembers to enable them to use these sites or otherwise authorize nonmembers to do so.
Prohibited Materials and Activities
- Because HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC are tax-exempt organizations and thus subject to legal limitations on the activities in which they may engage, postings may not contain comments or materials supporting or opposing any candidate for political office or otherwise relating to political activity or any other activity inconsistent with the purposes of HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC.
- No unsolicited messages or chain letters will be circulated in online communities or social media sponsored by HPNA, HPNF, or HPCC.
- HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC reserve the right to censor any communication containing any inappropriate material. If the posting of inappropriate material continues, HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC reserve the right to remove a member from any online community or other social media sponsored by HPNA, HPNF, or HPCC.
- HPNA, HPNF, and HPCC reserve the right to modify this Terms of Usage Agreement and to notify members prior to making any changes.
© Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, 2014. All rights reserved.