A warning to the EMS Blogosphere


The above link is to an essay written by a Paramedic from the State of Kansas who got into a very large amount of trouble by being less than flattering in a blog post that he wrote about a specific patient. There is no link to the actual blog that I know of, but in the above letter he stated that he broke patient confidentiality.

The hit he took was huge. He lost two jobs, lost his license for 90 days, and was almost barred from practice indefinitely. Two of his coworkers were suspended for writing comments as well.

Just a note for us EMS bloggers. Do not do not do not violate patient confidentiality, ever. Change any and all details. Not only is it good for your patients, it’s good for your career. I like the EMS blogosphere, and I do not wish for it to disappear because of any like incidents.

  • medicblog999

    I truly think that the only bloggers who are at risk are the ones who don't really think about the risks they put themselves in by blogging.
    I made the decision when I started, to do it with the full knowledge of the senior management in my service. I review every single blog post to check if I am happy with it, and I choose not to court contraversy. Some may say that's just playing safe and being a "management man", but I think I can still gets points across whilst still maitaining the integrity of my blog and the confidentiality of my patients.
    We just all need to be REALLY careful and if in doubt, don't publish that post!

  • Ckemtp

    I agree with you. I meticulously try to scrub any possible identifying information about any possible patient from the blog, and I cringe every time I have to use a reference to a call that I've attended in order to make a point.

    Controversy? Oh I've been there. There are a few firestorm issues in EMS here in the UK that you don't have to deal with. Such as Fire-Based "EMS", which I have strong opinions on but don't wish to have my house egged from either side if I spoke about it.

    Hopefully, as the EMS Blogosphere grows and matures, this will serve as a reminder so that people don't slip up and give us all a bad name.