Social Media Legal Concerns: Questions and Answers with David Harlow, Esq.

By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA with David Harlow, Esq.

This is the third part of a three part post addressing the legal concerns of social networking in the health care arena.

In part one, legal expert David Harlow, Esq., Health Care Attorney and Consultant at The Harlow Group, LLC in Boston, answered questions regarding “The Legal Implications for Doctors, Nurses and Hospitals Engaging in Social Media?”

In part two, Mr. Harlow answered questions related to the Pharma industry;  “Legal Concerns: What Steps can Pharma Take to Engage in Social Media?”

The third part addresses a question from a follower on Facebook about the use of disclaimers.

Q:  Barbara: A Healthin30 reader on Facebook writes:  “I’m looking for a good disclaimer to put on a couple of medical practices’ Facebook pages. The AMA social media guidelines aren’t helpful. Do you have a good boilerplate you recommend? Thanks in advance for your help!”  David, can you offer a couple suggestions?

A:  David: A good resource to start with is Ed Bennett’s compendium of hospital social media policies (Policies — Found In Cache –  The key however, is not to clip a policy and change the names, but to use these samples as starting points, make sure you address the issues noted in them, but be sure to address them in a manner that is appropriate for the medical practices.  For other pointers, you may wish to visit the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media website – (full disclosure: I am a member of the Center’s Advisory Board).

About David Harlow, Esq.

David Harlow, health care attorney and consultant, principal at The Harlow Group LLC in Boston, who blogs at and may be found on Twitter at

Your Turn

We would love for you to share your insightful thoughts and comments.  What are examples of your disclaimers?  Do you have a legal question?  Please let us know.

As always, thank you for your valuable time.

Follow Barbara on Twitter

Follow David on Twitter

You May Also Like


  1. 1

    Thanks, Barbara, for providing a forum for David to comment on these critical social media legal issues. He is definitely a leader in this area with the practical advice we need to avoid violating HIPAA and other land mines.

    Vanderbilt University Medical Center also has a powerful Social Media Toolkit they share with the public.

Leave a Reply