Rollins, a physician, was an exemplary employee at a midsized suburban hospital. He had been on staff at the hospital and was well respected by those with whom he worked as well as his patients and their families. But one Saturday evening, everything changed. Rollins, who was on call, had been alerted to an incoming patient who had been in a serious automobile accident. Without delay, Rollins left a restaurant where he had been dining with friends and headed toward the hospital. Once there, he was directed to the operating room where the surgical team was about to operate on the accident victim. Four hours later, the surgery was completed, and Rollins headed to the changing area. While in the changing area, Rollins updated his Facebook page for his friends. In that update, he posted how he had saved a life that night and described in some detail the condition of the patient, including details of the automobile accident. Within a few days, Rollins received a notice of termination. The hospital informed him that he had violated the hospital’s social media policy. Rollins was perplexed. He didn’t know what he had done wrong. Moreover, he wasn’t aware that the hospital had such a policy.
1. What could hospital management have done to prevent this situation?
2. How can management best communicate its social media policy to hospital staff?
3. Is termination too severe a punishment for a first-time violation of a social media policy?
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