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New social media rules for nurses and allied health professionals

By Karen Keast | Date Updated:
 

AHPRA is developing social media guidelines.

Social media guidelines are being developed for Australian nurses and allied health professionals.

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has been consulting with major stakeholders across the 14 national boards and will release a draft social media policy for public consultation in October or November.
AHPRA spokesperson Nicole Newton said at this stage it was uncertain whether the social media guidelines will be a generic policy that spans all 14 national boards or whether the boards will each customise their own policy.
“Whether they will endorse a common policy is not yet clear,” she said.
This is the first time AHPRA has developed
a social media policy.
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia released an information sheet on social media two years ago for nurses and midwives, which will be replaced with the new guidelines, once completed.
“The board is developing a policy in relation to practitioners’ use of social media…and what’s the overlap between private or personal,” Ms Newton said.
Feedback from targeted stakeholders to AHPRA’s preliminary consultation paper on its draft social media policy closed on September 14.
The early draft has generated widespread interest, particularly on social media.
In a statement, AHPRA said the national boards are monitoring feedback closely and will take the issues into account when refining the draft social media policy before its release for public consultation.
Ms Newton said the draft social media policy will be released on the national boards’ websites.
“There will be more consultation,” she said.
“We are looking forward to significant feedback from the community.”
AHPRA partners with the national boards to regulate more than 560,000 health practitioners spanning 14 professions, including occupational therapy, Chinese medicine, medical radiation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, chiropractic, dental, medical, nursing and midwifery, optometry, osteopathy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, podiatry and psychology.
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