Social Networking Ethics

Social Networking Ethics

Patient privacy is an area in which medical professionals are obligated to protect. It is vital to any health care organization that the patient’s private information is safe and secure. Patients trust health care organizations with some of their most private information and have confidence in the organization that their information will not be shared with other individuals or organizations. Health care professionals are trained to handle the information and protect each individual patient that they assist. With the creation of such social networking sites as Facebook and Twitter, health care professionals are starting to discuss work related issues on the internet. This is one area that is starting to become more of a problem than most people realized. Social networking sites are a way for individuals to connect all over the world and almost anyone can have access to the information that is shared on social networking profiles.

Social Networking Ethics
Photo by jennychamux

Most everyone in the United States are using social networking sites to reach out to family, friends, co-workers, and other professionals. These social networking sites have grown to be a part of our daily lives and we are using them for work and personal gains. Medical professionals and students are starting to use these social networking sites to post pictures and statuses of their everyday life. These pictures and statuses are on their personal profiles, but can contain information from other people’s life. Many students feel they are entitled to post what they wish on their personal profiles, maintaining that the information is in fact personal and not subject to the same policies and guidelines that govern their professional behavior on campus (Park, 2009). This is becoming more of an issue since medical professionals and students are posting information or pictures from patients they are assisting.

At UCLA, Dr. Parker has assigned a task force, which includes students, to devise guidelines that students can follow when making decisions about what to post and what to keep to themselves. “It’s going to be difficult,” he says. “Most students want us to provide them with education and guidelines, but not policies. It is a different culture; we always say we have to be culture-sensitive to our patients, but we have to be culture-sensitive to our students as well” (Park, 2009). This is a key element in how the future of our nation will be. We will have to adapt to social networking sites and how we interact with other individuals. While social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have bad reputations from some people, it also is there to reach more individuals in a shorter amount of time. Doctors are able to reach out to other doctors from around the world in a matter of seconds. This allows health care professionals to ask questions or get advice from other professionals when they need it the most.

While we adapt to these social networking sites, we also have to be aware of any ethical and legal issues that may arise. It is vital that professionals do not use any of the patient’s personal information or photographs of their face if they do post anything on Facebook or Twitter. If they are reaching out to ask advice or post a picture, they can do so without causing any damage to the patient. Health care professionals have to be aware of the state and federal laws that they could break if they post information about the patient such as name, social security number, address, test results, and etc. Social networking sites can help health care professionals, but it is imperative that the patient’s well-being and trust are honored first. Health care professionals have to respect each patient’s personal information and ensure that they are not posting information related to the patient.

It is essential that supervisors and managers explain the importance of protecting the patient’s personal information. Managers should have meetings with the employees and explain to them how to be professional on social networking sites as Facebook and Twitter. It is vital that each employee understands the significance of the repercussions of their acts if they post patient’s personal information on these social networking sites. Managers should go over the ethical issues that can arise if the professional does post inappropriate information. Managers should also go over the state and federal laws that they must uphold to each patient. Patients can sue the organization and the employee if their information gets posted to social networking sites. There can be many other legal issues that can arise if the organization does not control what is posted on their employee’s social networking profile.

One major solution that can keep health care organizations on top of what their health care professionals post on social networking sites is to have access to their social networking profile. They should be able to see what each employee of the organization posts each day and have it where it is mandatory that each employee allow the organization to see their profile. This can entail having the organization have its own profile page that employees can be friends with. This is a way where the organization can see the employee’s personal page, without violating any of the personal privacy. There should also be rules and regulations that each employee must uphold if the employee chooses to have a social networking profile. It is vital to the organization that each employee that is among the organization understands how to properly use social networking sites.

Health care organizations have to adapt to the changes of the way individuals are interacting with each other. Social networking sites have become a part of everyone’s daily lives and it has raised more challenges for health care organizations to monitor. Health care professionals and students are using the social networking sites to talk about professional information to other individuals. This can be done without causing any problems for the health care organizations or its employees if the social networking sites are monitored and each individual employee knows how to properly use them. It is up to the managers of the health care organizations to explain and set forth rules and regulations when using these social networking sites. These social networking sites can help employees discuss research and other various situations in the health care industry, but it is imperative that they use their best judgment and protect the patient’s personal information when doing so.

Citations:
  • (Park, 2009)

Brandon is a junior in college studying in the health care industry field. He already has one degree in Pharmacy Practice and is studying for his second one in Health care information systems. He is the owner of a Lift Kits website that sells Tuff Country Lift Kits. He enjoys school and working on his site, but he does enjoy relaxing more.

 

My Fitness Pal Smartphone App: An Electronic Weight Loss Coach

So, you have decided to lose those few flabby pounds you’ve gained over the holidays. Good for you! Admitting that you have a problem is the first step to the solution. So let me congratulate you a little further by recommending a little guide that will help you along your path. It’s called “My Fitness Pal” and this app is on both iPhone and Android.

First off let me start by saying that the app is free. Yes, it’s free. Free as in beer. Free is a good thing. And for the quality of this app that is a great thing. Now let me say that this is not a full weight loss coach. You will need some determination and will power to use this app. But congrats for even starting your journey!

Lets get started!

Let’s begin taking a look at this. My overall impressions of the app were great. It’s functional, easy to use, and feature rich. My Fitness Pal really has the potential to help keep you on the proper path. My biggest issue is that ads displayed in the app. It is an Ad supported app, so if this bothers you then you may want to look elsewhere. On a larger screen phone it’s easily ignored but on smaller screens it could take up precious real estate.

So, we start the app and you’re asked if you are a current member or want to register. My Fitness Pal records all of your progress to their website. Since you are reading this I am going to assume that you are a new member. So go ahead and create your account. You’ll enter the standard username and password, email, password, height and weight, sex (yes, is not an option), and lifestyle activity, and so fourth and so on.

The app will also ask for the amount of exercise you get and how much weight you want to lose each week without giving snake oil promises of 30 pounds in two weeks. I appreciated this because proper and healthy weight lose must be achieved with a pound or two a week, not fifty.

I would recommend after entering your profile, and being pushed to the main screen, you have a look around and get the hang of the app. At first it’s slightly confusing, but it grows on you rather quickly. The app is well laid out but throws a lot of info at you quickly.

Have you been naughty or nice?

On the main screen you will find your daily digest of information. This shows many calories you are allowed to eat for the day, how many were taken in by food, exhausted by exercise and what’s left. If you want you can also take a peak at your total nutritional intake for the day. You’ll be presented with a chart that looks very much like the back of food label. I went into information overload the first time I read this. But it’s nice to see what I’m doing with myself. A healthy diet consists of getting the proper nutrients as well, not just limiting calories.

My Fitness Pal Smartphone App
My Fitness Pal Smartphone App

On the same screen you’ll have access to enter information into your daily diary of food and exercise. Simply click the Add to Diary button. From there you can enter food and exercise info. I’ll start with the food. My Fitness Pal breaks your entries into breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can search for foods, select recently used items, or select from a custom made food or meal list. If you decide to eat more then carrots for lunch you can also add multiple items as well.

My favorite feature though was the barcode scanner. Not sure what you just ate? It’s OK. We all have those moments. You can scan the barcode with your camera and the app will do it’s best to find the nutritional information via the world wide intermaweb. It doesn’t do a half bad job either.

Now, like I believe I said, I don’t like exercising all that much. It’s not like I don’t like it really, it’s just that I don’t have time. You know, like you do… But anyway, I pretended like I had time, just for you, to try this out. Adding any exercises works much the same way that adding food to your diary does. The only issue is, if you can’t remember what that exercise is called that the guy just taught you in the park that made you bend like a trifold pretzel door, then you’re stuck browsing through every exercise to find the correct information. There is no barcode scanner for that. Sorry.

Your daily diary

Next we go to our daily diary. Here you can see how bad or good you’ve been. A full breakdown of what foods you ate and what exercises you’ve done will be listed here. Basic information like calories eaten, calories burned, and remaining are displayed in this list as well. Access is granted from here, as well, to add to or edit your diary.

And then the last tab. Your progress tab gives you a nice little line graph over a period of time to track progress and goals. It can be somewhat gratifying and self-rewarding to see that line move down. I was impressed that it tracks not only your weight, but your neck, waist, and hip measurements as well. It’s nice to see a little diversity and something extra with this app considering there is so many like it all over the market now.

My Fitness Pal Smartphone App
My Fitness Pal Smartphone App

And last, but not least, is the options tab. Pretty self explanatory. You can change your profile or any of app your settings here.

I suppose it should be mentioned that you can view any of the information online via the account you created when you first started the app. Your daily diary and progress can be tracked there. I never utilized this much because I like the info in my pocket on the go. Also the last thing I want to do is sit and track my weight when I get to work or when I have a few minutes of downtime at home.

Conclusion

Over all I liked the app. It’s well designed and laid out. My Fitness Pal has a few nice features that set it self above other apps, like the barcode scanner. The app is intuitive and easy to use. It’s limited on features though. I would have liked to see more integration online with the app, maybe something with the community or access to the forums, or maybe some social networking integration.

The price is perfect considering it’s free. With it being an ad driven app though you may have issues with screen real estate on smaller devices. Larger screens were not bad. The app is also pretty stable. I didn’t see any force closes on any platforms or devices.

So, would I recommend it? Yes. Counting your calories is a fundamental aspect of weight loss, whether you are on popular diet program (i.e Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Diet to Go, etc) or a self-made diet plan.

Give it a shot and see how you like it. But give it a week or two before you start investing your time heavily recording information with it. Make sure you like the app and it feels fluid to you. If it doesn’t, move on to the next, because after all there are more apps that operate exactly like this one. It’s simple, polished, and easy to use with a couple nice extra features but nothing innovative whatsoever.

Guest author Matthew is a health advocate who is fascinated by how Smartphones have not only improved the way we communicate but also increased the information we have access too. Matthew researches and makes available Nutrisystem discount deals for 2011 and eDiets coupons and discounts, for dieters who want to save on these two proven weight loss programs.

Review of a Popular Weight Loss and Fitness App for Smartphones

Weight Loss And Fitness App

Perhaps you’re an always on the go kind of person with a few flabby pounds you can’t seem to get rid of. Maybe you just want to watch what you eat or you want help maintaining that perfect weight you’re at now. Perhaps you’re just too embarrassed to seek help. Whatever the reason may be, I think I may have something to help with that.

Recently I took a look at an Android app called “Diet and Food Tracker” by Sparkpeople.com. It’s certainly a worthy app for a few minutes of your time. It’s a well-organized and easy to follow diet and health planner.

So what makes this app so interesting? It does more than calorie counting. The developer of this app was nice enough to factor in and encourage a daily dose of exercise as well, which can be a very important part of any health regimen.

Oh, the Settings…

So let’s take a look at the app. Congrats, you decided to take the plunge and download it. It’s easy to find on the android market, and best of all, it’s free! When you start the app you’re greeted with the introduction screen. The app will ask a basic set of questions like your age, weight, health conditions, weight goals, gender, etc. I was impressed that Diet and Food Tracker didn’t set unreasonable goals with snake oil promises of 20 pounds in two weeks. They limit your weight loss from half a pound to two pounds per week. Losing too much weight to fast can be seriously unhealthy, so I appreciated this.

Weight Loss and Fitness App

If you need help or want a second place for your data you can also link the app to your Sparkpeople online account, or simply use it standalone. The decision is up to you. In this case I choose standalone. I am a very on the go person and when I finally hit a computer the last thing I am doing is checking my weight and diet. I’d rather have all that info in my pocket.

After setting up your account you’re sent to the “Today” screen. Here you’ll see some nice articles to read for your morning constitutional, the calories eaten today, and the calories burned. You get your info served to you with two nice line graphs and some simple text. Overall it’s easy to follow and to see what’s going on for that day.

Food for Thought

Now, you’re getting the nibbles and you need to get something in your stomach. Before launching towards the fridge like a mad cow you might want to check out the “Food” tab. Here is where you will log your daily eats. It’s a tad confusing at first glance but you get over it quickly after you realized how it’s designed.

This tab is best used if you plan ahead. You can select and add the foods you are planning to eat along with the calorie count and dosage for each meal. The developer was even nice enough to include a snack time. Adding food is cumbersome though. You search and find what food you will be eating, how much, what brand, and so forth, and add it to your daily meal. Hence, planning ahead… Adding your meal and foods can be a tad annoying and does take time. If you decide you enjoyed what you ate though, you can always copy the meal to the next day. There are only so many days I can stomach the same thing meal though. This process is a necessary evil for the app. It certainly isn’t my favorite part.

Feel the Burn!

Next we continue our journey on over to the exercise part. Are you excited? Are you pumped!?

Weight Loss and Fitness App

After clicking on the fitness tab you’re greeted with the daily push-ups you’ve done. Not terribly exciting. But you’ll also get a run down of the time spent moving and calories burnt. Just like the “Food” tab, you enter in you exercises done and how long you did them and the app will guesstimate from there. Straight forward but it takes a couple seconds. Rinse wash and repeat day after day.

Weigh in Time Boys

The last important stop is the weigh in tab. Like a wrestler on game day, the app has you check your weight religiously. Step on the scale, shriek in horror, input your numbers, peek at your graph, rinse, wash, and repeat, next day… With any luck you’ll be watching that little blue line on that nice simplistic little graph going down in no time.

Of course, if you so choose, you can always adjust your options and settings later on. The “more” tab stores all this info. Curiously there is also some mysterious water setting I couldn’t figure out. I leave this as a mystery to you. The app isn’t clear at all what to do with this. But, anyway, you’ll have the options to change your personal info and settings, view your reports, and share your progress so far.

Conclusion

All in all in the app isn’t bad. It’s free so the price is great. The colors are very pastel and easy to read. I didn’t really experience any force closes across multiple devices, which is such a great thing on a hardware-fragmented platform like android.

I also had no trouble multitasking with the app as well. The information was harder to read on smaller screens though. There is some info to plug in to the app. In fact, get in the same mentality as your birth control; you’ll need to do it everyday.

Would I recommend this app? Yes, I would. Whether you are on a commercial weight loss program (i.e Weight Watchers, Medifast, Atkins, BistroMD, etc) or you are following your own diet plan, the Diet and Food Tracker by Sparkpeople can be a valuable tool. Not all people like to count calories, though. Play with it for a week and see how it feels with you. If you don’t get your mojo going from it, then move on. There are similar apps on the market.

Guest author Matthew is a Smartphone lover and technology addict who enjoys reviewing fitness and weight loss related apps. In his blog, he reviews weight loss programs and features discount offers for Medifast and Bistro MD coupons for 2011, two proven meal replacement and food delivery weight loss plans.

Groupon Moving Mobile

Groupon Moving Mobile
Photo by TechCrunch

Groupon Moving Mobile

Groupon has already changed the way many people shop, eat and buy stuff, now they are trying to do it again. Likely this latest move is in response to the abundance of competition popping up from everywhere, most notably from Microsoft which recently launched Bing Deals. Bing Deals is like an online coupon aggregator. It will search the web for the best daily deals being offered by any coupon service, which definitely gives it a leg up on the services which handle only their own daily deal.

The new Groupon Now mobile app will make finding coupons much easier. Users will be presented with two options: “I’m hungry” or “I’m bored.”

Pick one, click it and a list of location-based daily deals will be presented to you. Coupons will still look the same way, but will be more than one-time only deals. Businesses who use Groupon will be able to set a deal, say a $20 meal for just $10, then set the time they want the coupon offer to run. This is fantastic news for businesses hoping to make the most of immediate offers. The service is very adaptable to their needs. If the local Mexican restaurant has a special tonight because they ordered too many taco shells, they can send that out immediately on Groupon Now.

Mashable.com says that Groupon is the fastest growing company in history. This is due in no small part to the fact their service is just what the savvy buying public wants. It seems everyone is online looking for a good deal. Groupon was the first to start giving it to them. LivingSocial is their biggest competitor so far. It already has a mobile app with a similar on-demand slant than the forthcoming Groupon Now.

Microsoft’s Bing Deals is also mobile, so it will likely drive at least some of the traffic the two major players will be receiving.

The idea of Groupon Now hardly seems ground breaking. Giving people what they want when they are looking for it has always been good business. In today’s digital world, with on demand technology and portable devices in every pocket, handbag and backpack, it would seem like an easy enough thing to do. Groupon is getting redding for its IPOn which they say is valued at $25 billion. No doubt Groupon Now will make them even more valuable.

Sheeja Mathew has been an avid social networking and helps rate lifestyle based websites that can help people make their lives easier. She’s published many articles on various lifestyle tools and also runs a website on how to hire a Virtual Assistant. If you’re interested in many of the services such as a Virtual Assistant, please feel free to visit her website.

5 Ways to Cut Your Cell Phone Bill

Do you think you’re paying too much for your cell phone? Would you like to change that? A mere fifteen years after cell phones were first introduced to the public back in 1977 with only 2000 customers, 60 million people now have cell phones. It’s now t a $30 billion a year industry. If you don’t want to contribute any more to that $30 billion than is absolutely necessary, read on.

A JD Powers and Associates report states that the average basic service cell phone package costs $63 per month, and those with more advanced features runs an average of $77 per month. Keep in mind that is for a single phone. Multiply that by each individual contract your household has; technology doesn’t come cheap. Don’t despair! Here are five easy ways to cut your monthly cell phone charges-without feeling like you’ve been transported back to the dark ages.

5 Ways to Cut Your Cell Phone Bill
Samsung Large Screen TV Tops the JD Power Survey 2013 (Photo credit: samsungtomorrow)

1. Think twice before buying a smart phone. There are plenty of great phones on the market that allow you to call, text, take and send pictures, search the web, and take advantage of all sorts of great apps for less money. Case in point: ATT Mobility charges smart phone users a minimum of $15 for 200 MB of internet usage per month, while customers using phones with most all of the same capabilities can have unlimited usage for $10. That’s a $60 a year difference. Speaking of phones, don’t buy a phone based on how cute it is. Buy for durability and how easy it is for you to operate. Just like anything else, there are some products that are simply better than others. The same JD Powers and Associates report mentioned above reports that Sony Ericson, Samsung, and Motorola make the best phones on the market.

2. Don’t buy ring tones. Ever. Several online websites has thousands of ring tones that are absolutely free. No strings attached, no limit on how many you can select, and nothing to sign up for. Just search for your favorite songs or tones, download and save. The end.

3. Take advantage of family plans. With one primary account holder, most providers allow you to add up to 4 additional phones for around $10 a piece per month (plus taxes). You can also take advantage of bundling your features to spread the cost of unlimited texting and other added features between plan participants. Wirefly.com is one arguably the best site on the internet to comparison shop for the cellular provider and phone plan for you.

4. Do the math. Many young couple find themselves paying out money unnecessarily for two separate phone plans. They don’t want to pay the early out charges most carriers charge for breaking your contract. But think about it…if each person is paying $75 for their phone plan, and that amount could be reduced by approximately $60 a month, that’s a yearly savings of $720! Compare that to the usual $200 to $300 charged by the major cellular service providers for canceling a contract before it expires. That $400 to $500 dollars will go a long way toward paying down student loans, credit card debt, or next year’s vacation.

5. Take advantage of little known discounts, and rethink your plan. Employees of the postal system are entitled to a 25% discount with Sprint, while all other federal employees get a 15% discount. Many credit unions, as well as companies that manufacture components used in cellular technology or those associated with the marketing of cellular services are allowed 10-15% discounts, as well. Check with your provider to see what, if anything, you qualify for. As for your phone plan…do you really need 1000 anytime minutes? With unlimited calling to people in your network, and the roll-over plans that have been adopted over the last few years, just about everyone could take a lesser plan and shave $10-$15 dollars a month off their plan.

This article was contributed by Darla Nicole.  Darla writes about credit card rewards and deals.  A popular choice for college students with large cell phone bills is the Citi Student Dividend card which offers 5% cash back for utilities.

The Top 5 Navigation Apps for Smart Phones

The dawn of the smart-phones has brought about not only the phenomena of increasing head injuries as people walk into lamp posts while sending text message to their friends and playing Angry Birds. More interestingly however, the mass adoption of these lifestyle devices has brought about a renegotiation with the physical landscape and the way we interact with our environments. Here are the top 5 Navigation Apps for Smart Phones.

Navigation Apps photo
Photo by IntelFreePress

Not only have smart phones effectively made the trusty old Sat Nav obsolete, they’ve left the old timer trudging off into the distanced red-faced and feeling dejected. You see, a smart phone just tell you where you are and where to go, it tells you where your friends think you should, or recommends places it thinks you want go , yep it can read your mind.

So what are the top five navigational apps out at the moment for the iPhone?

1. Tom Tom Sat Nav

All the functionality of a full sized Tom Tom Sat Nav, in one tint app. This allows you to do everything you would with a regular sat nav, on your phone. You can set a location and have the app read out directions to you in a range of hilarious voices, as well as save locations.

2. FourSquare

Foursquare is as much a game as a social network. It allows you to publish your physical location to all your friends so they can keep tabs on your whereabouts 24/7 – if you so wish! Find great places in hometown and recommend venues to others by adding tips. You can also get vouchers and exclusive deals by becoming the ‘major’ of certain locations.

3. Layar

Layar is an augmented reality app that uses your phone’s camera to take a snapshot of your environment and label it with markers that show points of interest. The bigger the marker, the closer the point of interest, simply walk towards it virtual signposts to find the nearest coffee house or gym

4. Track Me

This is a great app for anxious parents. Simply get your kids to install the app on their phone and you can track where they are and whether or not they are using their phone. Only problem is you may have some difficulty convincing your kids to install this one!

5. Google Maps

Not strictly an app since it comes as standard with the phone, Google Maps is like a ‘diet’ sat nav. You can now determine exactly where you are on the map and plot a route to your desired location, particularly useful for on-foot journeys.

Joe is a smart-phone lover and and blogger for a car shop selling some great sat nav deals

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