When is it cool for doctors to Google patients?

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An article in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry outlines an ethical framework for what the authors call “patient-targeted Googling.”

Guest: Brian Clinton, McLean Hospital

3 Responses to “When is it cool for doctors to Google patients?”

  1. K. says:

    Not only is it unethical for doctors to “google” their patients, it is illegal. According to HIPAA, the federal privacy act, there are civil fines for doing so. These people are very misguided.

  2. John Lochren says:

    As an attorney specializing in health care, I can assure you that the Privacy Rule, specified within HIPAA, does NOT address googling at all. HIPAA does have the internet in mind. Also, googling is NOT “illegal”. Maybe it’s not “cool” in some cases for a doctor to google patients, but it’s perfectly legal. All Americans should read about HIPAA at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy

  3. Barry says:

    I find this totally unethical because it means they will be pre judging the patient. on the other hand, in some other professions it might be pretty useful.

    For example when i was a teacher and a student would come with a personal problem, i could discover the real issue just by seeing what the student was talking about on facebook.

    This allowed me to help them more.