Spectrum Health ends probe of insensitive Instagram posts, takes 'corrective action'

Spectrum Health said it has concluded its investigation and taken "corrective action" after photos taken in operating rooms accompanied by insensitive comments were posted to an Instagram account linked to 35 medical residents at the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based system. 

A Spectrum spokesperson said patients have been informed of the incidents. Becker's did not receive a response about what the corrective measures taken with employees involved in the since-deactivated Instagram account entailed.

WOOD-TV, the NBC affiliate for Grand Rapids, aired a segment about the OB-GYN residents' Instagram account March 12. The account was not officially affiliated with 14-hospital Spectrum Health, although the residents were employees of the system, and photos were taken in Spectrum operating rooms. 

Since-deleted posts included a photo of a physician holding an organ removed in a cancer operation.

"The other game we play in the OR is guess that weight," the poster of the organ picture wrote. "It applies to much more than just babies. As always, 'Price is Right' rules apply so if you go over then you're out!" 

At least one patient was visible in a post on the operating table.

Spectrum Health shared the following statement with Becker's March 24:

"We completed a thorough and detailed investigation of the situation involving inappropriate posts on an Instagram account not officially connected to Spectrum Health. Our team members are expected to follow strict guidelines regarding patient confidentiality and social media use, and this incident did not reflect those standards. 

"We have informed the patients about this incident and have taken corrective action with the team members involved in the posts. We deeply regret this incident occurred despite strong policies and guidelines in place. We are working to further strengthen our educational programs to ensure this type of situation does not happen again."

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