Patient to Patient Insults on Facebook

By Christina Thielst
12:37 PM

Since I keep track of this stuff, I need to include this BBC story on my blog.  It involves a patient in a hospital ward taking a picture of another patient and posting it on Facebook along with an insult. I don't think this reflects poorly upon the hospital, instead I believe they responded appropriately.  What it does suggest, is a new type of patient to patient risk that should be recognized and addressed by healthcare leadership.

What we have in this case is a new form of patient to patient aggression or violence.  In the old days, just a couple of years ago we responded to physical, verbal and emotional acts and behavior.  Today, just as everything else, the aggression is moving to the virtual environment. 

My advice is for hospitals to educate patients about the photography policy and plan for responses to concerns that may be brought in the future. Nevill Hall Hospital has provided us with a little guidance to get us all started.


Christina Thielst is a hospital and healthcare administrator who has been blogging since 2005. Topics covered on her blog, Christina's Considerations, include hospitals, health information technology and exchange, social media, and  telehealth.