VA adopts social media policy

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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has released a policy directive regarding the secure use of web-based collaboration and social media tools.

The policy permits the department and its employees to leverage emerging platforms for enhanced communication, stakeholder outreach and health information exchange as the department retrofits into an organization attuned to the needs of all veterans.

The policy, “VA Directive 6515: Use of Web-Based Collaboration Technologies,” encourages the adoption and use of social media by VA employees. It provides workplace boundaries and establishes the department’s philosophy for communication: VA is open and transparent, and VA is willing and able to engage and collaborate with its many stakeholders online.

VA began launching social media sites in 2009 and the department has more than 100 Facebook pages, more than 50 Twitter feeds, two blogs, a YouTube channel and a Flickr page.

By the end of the year, the department stated it expects to have an active Facebook page and Twitter feed for all 152 VA Medical Centers.