Page 1 of 3
Administrative (Non-Clinical) Policy
This administrative policy applies to the operations and staff of the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and
Clinics Authority (UWHCA) as integrated effective July 1, 2015, including the legacy operations and
staff of University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and University of Wisconsin Medical
Policy Title: UW Health Social Media
Policy Number: 1.47
Effective Date: February 1, 2017
The purpose of this policy is to provide UW Health employees with guidelines and requirements for
participation in social media, including UW Health-hosted social media and in non-UW Health hosted
social media in which the employee’s UW Health affiliation is known, identified or presumed.
II. PERSONS AFFECTED
This policy applies to all persons performing work for UW Health and University of Wisconsin School of
Medicine and Public Health (UWSMPH), including regular employees, physicians, temporary or contract
employees, students and volunteers. For purposes of this policy, these persons will be collectively
referred to as “employees.”
Social media: Includes but are not limited to blogs, podcasts, discussion forums, online collaborative
information and publishing systems, video and photo sharing, and social networks like Twitter, Facebook,
YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.
Blog: Short for “web log”, a blog is a site that allows an individual or group of individuals to share a
running log of events and insights with online audiences. A blogging platform is available for use on U-
Connect and uwhealth.org.
IV. POLICY ELEMENTS
A. General Guidelines for all Social Media
1. Users of social media, both UW Health hosted and non-UW Health hosted venues, must
comply with applicable administrative and departmental policies, including policies
relating to confidentiality, proprietary information, HIPAA, privacy, non-solicitation, and
appropriate use of the computer systems.
2. Users of social media write at their own risk and are legally responsible for their
3. Users of social media should not post or copy third-party information that is protected by
copyright laws. If the user feels that “fair use” applies, it is the user’s responsibility to
Page 2 of 3
ensure that, and a link should be included to the source. Links to copyrighted information
are allowed, though they must clearly identify the source destination.
4. Inappropriate or improper use of social media by employees, determined not to be
protected activity or speech, may result in disciplinary action, up to and including
termination of employment.
B. Personal Use of Social Media
1. This section applies to personal blogs, social media accounts, etc. which are completely
outside the scope of employment.
2. All postings must be on an employee’s non-work time, and all such activities must not
interfere with or impact the employee’s work commitments.
3. Employees must not state nor suggest that their expressed views and opinions relate to
UW Health or represent the official views of UW Health.
4. If you publish a blog, post a comment or share an image on a social media site and it has
some connection or relationship with the work that you do at UW Health or your
connection to UW Health is apparent, you must use a disclaimer. It must be clear that
what is said is representative of your views and opinions and not necessarily the views
and opinions of UW Health. This disclaimer should be posted in a place easily visible on
the site. A sample disclaimer is as follows, “The views expressed on this [blog, website]
are my own and do not reflect the views of UW Health or my employer.”
5. Employees are encouraged to understand and use the privacy settings available with
various social media accounts.
6. Private groups established for social purposes among UW Health employees should not
include the name of the UW Health employer, use images of our facilities or UW Health
logos and should be made private if possible.
7. Employees are advised to use good judgment and be aware of professional boundaries
and privacy concerns when engaging in personal use of social media. A failure to do so
may constitute a violation of work rules. (See Administrative Policy 7.55-Professional
Boundaries and Therapeutic Relationships Within UW Health.)
C. UW Health Hosted Social Media
1. This section applies to use by faculty and staff of social media including the following
domains: blogs.uwhealth.org, blogs.uconnect.wisc.edu, workspaces.uconnect.wisc.edu,
2. Those programs or departments wishing to establish a UW Health hosted social media
platform must complete the Social Media Request Form. This form must be completed in
full and approved by the appropriate department vice president. This form is then
submitted to the Web Center for fulfillment.
3. Once established, it is the responsibility of the requesting department to monitor the site
for activity and use. Authors should regularly monitor their feedback and acknowledge it
within 48 hours.
4. If the intended audience includes patients or health care consumers, comments must be
moderated and clinicians must review and sign the “Blog Guidelines” document.
5. All UW Health hosted social media shall contain a link to the Commenting Guidelines.
6. All writers of UW Health hosted social media must disclose any conflicts of interest and
must not attempt to conceal their identity or that they work for UW Health.
7. Supervisors may review/monitor employee participation in UW Health hosted social
media to ensure that participation does not interfere with work responsibilities.
8. Commentary should not be defamatory, obscene, libelous or owned by another individual
9. UW Health hosted social media may be removed due to inactivity, if the host posts
information that conflicts with policy, if comments are not reviewed in a timely manner
or at the approving vice president’s request.
Page 3 of 3
D. Promoting UW Health through External Social Media
1. External social media are those platforms which are accessible to the public, including
patients, health care consumers and other audiences, such as facebook.com/uwhealth. See
uwhealth.org/social for a complete listing.
2. The UW Health Web Center is the exclusive sponsor of UW Health’s social media
presence. UW Health programs and services wishing to use social media channels like
Twitter or Facebook to promote their news, events and relevant information to the public
should email the Web Center at email@example.com.
3. Programs should not create new pages or accounts; rather existing ones will be used. This
will ensure appropriate use of resources and avoid confusion with multiple sources. If a
program proves to have a unique audience and message, a separate presence may be
created by the Web Center. To explore this opportunity, please complete the Social
Media Request Form.
4. The Web Center or a party designated by the Web Center shall monitor the content, and
any spam received will be deleted by the Web Center or the designated party.
5. Commentary should not be defamatory, obscene, libelous or owned by another individual
6. Negative comments will be addressed by the Web Center in collaboration from Patient
Relations or other appropriate departments.
Blog Rules for Clinicians and Other Staff Sponsoring UW Health and U-Connect Blogs
Social Media Request Form
This Policy creates no rights, contractual or otherwise. Statements of policy obtained herein are not made
for the purpose of inducing any person to become or remain an employee of UW Health or SMPH and
should not be considered "promises" or as granting "property" rights. UW Health and/or SMPH may add
to, subtract from and/or modify this Policy at any time. Nothing contained in this Policy impairs the right
of an employee or the employer to terminate the employment relationship at-will.
Sr. Management Sponsor: VP, Marketing and Communications
Author: Director, Web Center
Reviewer(s): UW Health Privacy Officer; UWSMPH Privacy Officer; Sr. Director, Human Resources
Approval Committee: UW Health Administrative Policy and Procedure Committee
UW Health Chief Administrative Officer
Previous revision: 022014
Next revision: 022020