SERMO is an online social network exclusive to physicians where they can discuss clinical cases and business aspects of their profession. Physicians with M.D. or D.O. degrees can upload photos derived from real medical cases and crowdsource advice or diagnoses from fellow SERMO members.
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SERMO confirms the identity and credentials of physicians before granting them access to its free network. The process consists of digital fingerprinting, running applying members' names through an identification verification service and checking they are documented in the American Medical Association's Physician Masterfile. Nearly 90% of SERMO users choose to conceal their names from other members and only identify themselves by their SERMO screen names. All patient data shared on SERMO is also anonymized. The SERMO code of conduct requires patients' personal health information be censored or deleted before a photo is uploaded to the site. While signed into SERMO, members are also responsible for keeping their comments and actions in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Members are free to discuss medical topics such as meaningful use, HIPAA and health information exchange. They also use SERMO's messaging in more casual, non-medical ways, similar to how people communicate on Facebook and other social media channels.
SERMO, founded in 2005, was acquired by WorldOne, Inc. in 2012. It has about 382,000 members, including practitioners from more than 90 medical specialties. The company's name is derived from Latin and means "discussion" or "conversation."