Social Media

At Michigan Medicine, we proactively leverage social media channels to promote our overarching mission, educate our stakeholders, and provide transparency and customer service. We encourage Michigan Medicine staff to follow and engage with our social media channels. This document serves to guide users in best-practice implementation, familiarize employees with available resources, and outline expectations with regard to the university brand and usage.

For Michigan Medicine employees, this document aids as a supplement and not a replacement to all existing policies or guidelines outlining Use of Social Media for Business Purposes, Proper Use of Technology, Code of Conduct, and Harassment Prevention.

Social Media Guidelines

  1. Follow the Michigan Medicine Code of Conduct, all Michigan Medicine policies (including but not limited to patient privacy, information security, photography and video, Conflict of Interest, behavior guidelines, computer/email usage, political activity, and U-M Standard Practice Guides (including but not limited to those respecting copyrights and disclosures, and not revealing proprietary financial, intellectual property, patient care or similar sensitive or private content.)

  2. All photos taken with a patient require a signed patient release form, even if the patient is not clearly visible in the photograph.

  3. Professional standards

  • No photos should be taken in an operating room and posted to social media.

  • No blood or wounds should be visible in photos posted to social media.

  • No photos should be taken in patient rooms and/or patient care areas and posted to social media.

  • The age of the patient should not be included.

  • Reference to the timing of the case should not be included and without patient consent, no cases/patients should be posted within a month of completion.

  • Do not refer to patient treatments or cases as trophies to display.

  • Take care to make sure stray patient info like MRN or names are not in the background of photos, to avoid screenshots or zooms that inadvertently disclose protected health information.

  1. If interacting with patients through social media, maintain appropriate boundaries in accordance with professional ethical guidelines, just as you would in any other context.

  2. The use of the university brand or any derivatives within a personal identity or username is restricted, for example: @UMichJohn or @JohnUofM, @John_UMich, @JohnMichMed, MichMedJohn, etc.

  3. The look and feel of official social communication channels is dictated by the corresponding guidelines and policy outlined for the University of Michigan brand (logo) and its subsidiaries at Usage for personal representation or for any purposes beyond official approved application is prohibited.

  4. Biographical information may indicate professional capacity; however, it should also indicate that the opinions, thoughts, and viewpoints expressed are your own and in no way a direct reflection of the official position of Michigan Medicine. Common variations of this distinction used in social media are "OAMO (opinions are my own)," "retweets do not equal endorsement," and "Views are my own." However, it is important to understand that these acronyms or disclaimers currently have no legal standing or precedent.

  5. Only “official” university and Michigan Medicine channels as listed on should be registered with email addresses in order to maintain access beyond the length or tenure of an employee. University-associated accounts must be accessible by multiple staff members and are subject to reporting and social leadership oversight.

  6. The strategic implementation of all official social accounts is monitored and maintained by the Michigan Medicine Department of Communication. Contact the Michigan Medicine Department of Communication to create a social media channel prior to the development of any new social media account and posting of any information on a social media platform that represents Michigan Medicine in any way.