I always rail against physician anonymity on social networks. It offers the false security to say things that we otherwise would never say. Not exactly the kind of thing for building community.
I’ve been thinking about privacy transgressions by physicians on public platforms like Twitter. And how do we prevent the release of PHI on physician-specific networks? Doctors are prohibited from sharing patient information even with other doctors without the expressed consent of the patient. But am I really obligated to fictionalize a case in order to get input on Physician Connect or Sermo?
You could make the argument that physicians should communicate using secret handles. The code could be kept in some super-duper HIPAA-compliant vault that could be accessed only in the event of clinical mischief. If no one knows the name of the presenting clinician it becomes more difficult to link that unique presentation with a certain patient (of course, not impossible).
I avoid Sermo exclusively because of its tolerance of anonymity. But maybe they’re onto something. I wonder if they have a vault.