Aim of the project
This project would be in response to all the concern voiced about health professionals blogging etc in an open environment, which has led to a number of blogs and forums being closed or restricted to public access. I have wondered if we over react - that in reality people are very careful about what they say and write. On the other hand, if patient confidentiality is being compromised, maybe health professionals need formal guidelines about online behaviour and computer-mediated communication.
What I want to do is look at a number of blogs and Twitter accounts of health professionals and work out the 'risk' to confidentiality to patients, colleagues and themselves. The score is based on a rubric that I have used in previous research.
What I need to think about are the ethical issues. What do you think I would have to think about in relation to this research method? To help you in your consideration, here are a few points of clarification:
- blogs and Twitter accounts are openly available for all to see
- I would not identify the blog and Twitter accounts in research publications
- accounts would be randomly selected via Google search
- I will not be audit an account I personally know, or communicate with.
Image: 'That Way' justinbaeder