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The Perils and Pitfalls of Social Networks (Series 4 of 5)

Professional Associations Respond

Recognizing the need for clinicians to debrief/vent in appropriate contexts, the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses recommends discussion of appropriate methods with trainees with the recognition of the absolute permanence of electronic communications. The organization also recommends that institutions develop and publish clear institutional criteria for dismissible offenses.

The 2011 summer issue of the Journal of Clinical Ethics focused its attention on the American Medical Association’s (AMA’s) Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) recent report on social media and the medical profession. The CEJA report was prepared in response to Policy D-478.985, Physicians and Electronic Social Networking, which was a request from the Medical Students Section that asked the AMA to address the issue of online professionalism. The report recognizes that use of social media can provide benefits, such as an online professional presence, and allows collegial support, fostering of positive relationships, and sharing of views in the public health interest. However, the report also urges physicians to honor the social contract expected of them. The underpinning of the recommendations for physician use of social media is derived from the AMA Code of Medical Ethics, which emphasizes that physicians in positions that do not directly involve patient care should not suspend their ethical obligations.

The 2011 AMA guidelines for the use of social media provide a compass for physicians’ online presence. They urge physicians to:

  1. Maintain patient confidentiality and privacy in all environments and refrain from posting identifiable patient information online;
  2. Use the highest privacy settings in social networking sites to protect personal information;
  3. Monitor their own Internet presence to ensure that information posted is accurate and up to date;
  4. Maintain appropriate boundaries with patients online;
  5. Separate personal and professional content online;
  6. Approach colleagues who post inappropriate content and report colleagues who persist in violations to the appropriate authorities if the content is not removed; and
  7. Recognize that online content and actions can impact careers and undermine public trust.

Similar recommendations have been previously endorsed or suggested by others from disciplines that include surgery, psychiatry, internal medicine, and pediatrics.

Some Practical Strategies to Maintain a Safe Online Presence

A number of practical suggestions for the social networking savvy professional can be found in the multitude of articles on this topic available in the literature. Some include:

  1. Conduct periodic Internet searches, akin to credit checking, to correct any online misinformation.
  2. Maintain a healthy skepticism about privacy settings and assume that settings may be changed without notification or that privacy technology may be compromised or breached by hackers.
  3. Recognize that the unintended audience for online postings is exponentially large and online content is permanent.
  4. Avoid engaging in dual relationships with patients (such as “friending” patients on Facebook), which threaten the therapeutic dynamic of the patient-doctor relationship.
  5. Obtain consent for use of all online patient images regardless of whether they are identifiable. Include disclaimer language with all posts such as:
    All patient/s names and identifiable information have been changed to protect their privacy. Additionally, this content was viewed and approved for online use by the patient/s described or depicted.
  6. Involve regulatory agencies such as state boards as needed.

The majority of current expert opinion advises caution in the use of social media, emphasizing that the risks of interacting with patients in online social forums may outweigh potential benefits. In fact, some contend that absolute separation of personal and professional life is virtually impossible and recommend only a professional presence online.

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Sex fiend targeting dentists arrested

The principal suspect in the spate of robberies of dental clinics in Metro Manila and nearby provinces was arrested yesterday in Las Piñas City and owned up to 19 of the 23 reported cases. Albert Galang de la Cruz, 31, admitted robbing his victims but denied raping or sexually molesting any of them. “I only rob my victims. I don’t have to rape or sexually molest them,” De la Cruz told The STAR.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Alan Purisima said De la Cruz was nabbed at his residence in Pilar Village, Las Piñas City at around 5:30 a.m. yesterday. Purisima said De la Cruz even pulled out a fan knife and a tear gas canister and tried to fight the arresting police officers. The suspect even yielded a transparent plastic bag containing crystalline substance suspected to be shabu. De la Cruz used the aliases of Alvin, Aldrin, Alex, Alexander, Jeffrey, Jason, and Jake, and the surnames of Galang, Musngi, Maliwat, Gapeon and Santos. Purisima said De la Cruz was arrested after Judge Mary Ann Rivera of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 48 of San Fernando, Pampanga, issued an arrest warrant for him for robbery. Police teams headed by Senior Superintendent Conrad Capa, NCRPO intelligence chief, were led to De la Cruz’ residence by his cohort Ronald Policarpio who was arrested last Aug. 24 in Barangay Silangan, Quezon City.

Policarpio was arrested on the strength of an arrest warrant for robbery issued by Judge Maria Felimena Singh of the Quezon City RTC Branch 85. Capa said Policarpio admitted joining De la Cruz in two robberies against dentists. Capa added that several victims had identified De la Cruz.

A follow-up operations conducted by Chief Inspectors Redentor Agcio and Ferjen Torred, of the NCRPO’s regional police intelligence operation unit, led to the recovery from pawnshops of three pieces of jewelry, which were part of the duo’s loot. “They pawned the pieces of jewelry from P5,000 to P7,000,” said Capa, adding that it took them four months to solve the case. Capa said De la Cruz admitted that he was the one caught by a closed-circuit television camera during a recent robbery in Quezon City. Purisima said there is a big possibility that other groups are using the same modus operandi employed by the arrested suspects to mislead police investigators.

Capa said De la Cruz, who hails from Sta. Ana, Pampanga, had served time for robbery at the Bureau of Corrections from 2004 to 2009 and started robbing dental clinics right after his release from prison. According to the victims, De la Cruz would pose as patient and would then announce the heist using a semi-automatic pistol. He would tie up his victims using a plastic straw or masking tape, divest them of their money and valuables before molesting or performing sexual acts in front of them.

During tactical interrogation, De la Cruz said he got mad at medical professionals after one of his friends died in his arm in a hospital where he brought him. He said he targeted dental clinics instead of hospitals because “dentists are easy prey.” Robert Tajonera, PDA president, congratulated the NCRPO for the arrest of De la Cruz and Policarpio but he said that the “fight is not yet over.” Tajonera said preventive measures like the deployment of closed-circuit TV cameras in dental clinics should be pushed through to preempt other attacks against dentists, especially women.

“No person in his right mind would do this thing of sexually molesting dentists,” said Tajonera. “We are professionals and not criminals. We are only out to serve the public.” He said the PDA, being a poor organization, did not offer any reward money for information leading to the arrests of the suspects. Tajonera said the PDA had formed a committee to coordinate with the NCRPO in the filing of cases against the suspects.

After Purisima’s press briefing, both De la Cruz and Policarpio were subjected to medical examination to dispel allegations that they were tortured to admit their crime. The NCRPO’s photographer also took the mug shots of the suspects. Several female dentists who were around, expressed delight that the suspects were finally caught. “They should not be released from jail so that we can have peace of mind while at work,” one of them said.

By Non Alquitran

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in News, Issues & Politics, People

 

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Gasoline / Diesel Rollback Starts Today

ROLLBACK (all effective today): 

Chevron, Shell, Petron, Phoenix Petroleum and Unioil decreased today its gasoline prices by P1.5/L.

Chevron, Shell and Petron implemented a P1.7/L rollback on diesel and kerosene; P1.7/L rollback on diesel for Phoenix Petroleum and Unioil. Seaoil, meanwhile, cut its prices of diesel, kerosene & regular gas by P1.85/L; premium and unleaded gas by P1.75/L.

MORE! MORE! MORE!

 
 

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Business Opportunity here

Earn while sending emails. Good opportunity for earning extra income. Check it out.

 

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The Dengue-carrying mosquito

Eliminate or Control the Vector to eradicate the disease

Aedes aegyptiIn an earlier report, Health Secretary Enrique Ona explained that while dengue is a year-round disease, more dengue cases are recorded on rainy days when there also more breeding sites for the dengue-carrying “Aedes aegypti” mosquitoes.

Ona urged the public to get rid of possible breeding sites for mosquitoes such as discarded tires and tin cans which can become filled with stagnant water if left outdoors.

Water in flower vases should also be regularly replaced. Roof gutters should always be checked for any accumulation of stagnant water.

Mosquito nets and protective clothing can also be used to prevent mosquito bites.

Meanwhile, Tayag said, there are more dengue cases this year compared to last year.

Tayag said there are dengue cases all over the country. As a matter of fact, from January 1 to July 31, 328 persons have died. There are 40,648 dengue cases in the country,” said Tayag.

The number of dengue cases this year is almost 50% higher compared to the same period last year, when 27,473 cases were recorded, the DOH said in a report.

Tayag said, aside from dengue, the public should also watch out for influenza this rainy season. He advises those who have not yet received vaccinations to do so.

 

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