Digital Policies & Standards
If you manage a social media channel (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) associated with Stanford University School of Medicine, review the Stanford Medicine Social Media Guidelines & Best Practices.
For questions about the Stanford Medicine YouTube channel and adding a video, please review the Stanford Medicine YouTube Guidelines.
Websites, Wikis, and Blogs
Terms of Usage
IRT, as the hosting provider for Stanford Medicine, has the right to add, remove or modify material on any website, wiki space, blog, survey, or video channel, block access, or take other action with respect to the material, although it is under no obligation to do so.
Purpose of Sites or Use of Platform
All services and content hosted by IRT must serve an official school purpose.
Domain Names & Uniform Resource Identifiers
All official units of the School of Medicine (SoM) must use domains and Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) provided by, or approved by IRT for the school.
Do not establish independent hosting, either commercial or private, of school resources or information under any domain names or extensions other than those provided by IRT.
To best support Stanford Medicine’s search engine rankings, we consolidate web traffic under med.sanford.edu rather than divide our traffic across virtual subdomains (vhosts).
If there is a critical organizational need to use another domain or non-standard URL, please contact the Digital Services Help Desk.
Before You Publish or Distribute Your Domain
Do not commit a particular domain name or URL, especially in print, unless you have confirmed that it is either published or will be available to you by press time. Contact the Help Desk to find out about URLs you wish to create in advance, with at least two weeks of lead time.
Site Review & Maintenance
Review & Monitoring
All websites and blogs may be reviewed and monitored by IRT Digital Services at any time. It is the sole discretion of IRT Digital Services what content can and cannot be hosted.
Each website must have an assigned Site Owner and one or more Site Authors assigned to update the content of the site. IRT can assign users to your group for access.
All websites must be reviewed at least monthly and content edited on a regular basis to update outdated and inaccurate information. Neglected or out-of-date sites may be removed from the server.
Stanford Medicine works with the Stanford Online Accessibility Program (SOAP) to target at least the AA conformance level of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 standard.
Refer to the SOAP website for additional resources and to learn more about our accessibility guidelines.
Site owners and authors are responsible for copyright compliance on their sites. All copyrighted information (text, images, icons, programs, video, audio, etc.) must be used in conformance with applicable copyright and other law. Copied material must be properly attributed. Plagiarism of digital information is subject to the same sanctions as apply to plagiarism in any other media.
- Only use images/illustrations you have the rights to, or use images that are freely available under a Creative Commons license. When in doubt, contact the original photographer, illustrator or creator to get permission before posting. You can find Stanford images at SALLIE (Stanford ALL-Image Exchange).
- There are pre-approved images already uploaded in AEM Collections
- Creative commons, royalty-free and paid-license images are available via Flickr, Getty Images, Google image search, Pixabay, Wikipedia, 500px and Shutterstock.
- You are welcome to obtain licenses. Be sure to keep record of licenses on record with the site owner.
- If you are taking photos for use on a website, the Photography Guidelines on the Stanford Identity website are very useful and include a downloadable release form to use when using photos of people.
- The Stanford Medicine Office of Communications offers Social Media Guidelines
- Photos or graphics may never include Protected Health Information (PHI)
- The Stanford Fair Use website provides answers to some commonly asked questions about the use of copyrighted material.
Contact information should be prominently displayed on each website. At least one contact email address is required and (ideally) phone number(s) and mailing address(es).
The main navigation should only include links to pages within your website.
Distinguish internal links from external links in body copy using the default styling in the content management system. This ensures consistency across websites, which is a better user experience.
Write descriptive links that makes sense out of context and the destination clear.
Visual Design Standards
The Stanford Medicine Logo
The Stanford Medicine name and logo are well-established and carry world-class brand equity. Stanford Health Care, Stanford Children's Heath and the School of Medicine are aligned under the Stanford Medicine brand.
IRT Digital Services creates and maintains the digital branded themes required for all departments, divisions, centers, and institutes within the Stanford School of Medicine. This includes themes for websites, blogs, surveys, and video portals. We developed them to be flexible, accommodating the unique needs of our varied internal organizations.
By default, all official units of the school must use the standard templates. If your group would like to develop a unique design, IRT must be involved in the process to ensure your site complements the overall digital presence for Stanford Medicine.
Sites for individual faculty or research labs are exempt from the standard formatting requirements. All other standards apply. Labs that use custom designs are not eligible to use the AEM content management system.
Privacy & Security
Stanford Medicine is committed to providing and maintaining a secure computing environment to protect the personal data we are trusted with and to enable the important work toward our missions to flourish. Public web content is bound by the same policy and requirements. See the Data Security website for more details.
HIPAA Legal Standard
Site owners and content authors are responsible and accountable for insuring that information published on Stanford Medicine websites and other services do not violate HIPAA or FERPA requirements. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) contains standards and rules which govern the treatment of individually identifiable health information. Under no circumstances should health information about a patient be disclosed without express written consent from the patient or his or her guardian. See the University's online HIPAA resources for more information.
Obligations of Site Owners
Reasonable measures must be taken to protect the security of page that contain protected health information. In general this means that access to these pages needs to be tightly controlled and the content must be delivered via SSL encryption.
No Protected Health Information (PHI) should be stored or served from any public Stanford Medicine website, blog, survey, or video channel. Read more about the content classification system.
Email and Form Considerations
Sites must not collect restricted content from a website email form or email link; email is not secure. If you need to collect restricted content you should use Qualtrics.
Secure written consent from individuals not affiliated with Stanford whose pictures appear on your website, wiki or blog, or video channel. In most cases, the school's general release form will suffice. However, whenever personal medical information is disclosed, the individual (or their guardian) must sign the a HIPAA release form.
- Stanford students, faculty and staff: No release required, but ask for verbal permission
- Family, friends, anyone in the community: Basic photo or video release
- Any person whose identifying health information is disclosed: HIPAA release
Note: this applies to individuals treated at the Stanford hospitals, health facilities and elsewhere
All Stanford e-commerce is required to use the official Stanford process. See the University Card and Payment Account Acceptance and Processing Policy in the Admin Guide for details.
Stanford contracts with online transaction service vendors to handle the authorization and management of online sales. This arrangement allows the University to:
- Consistently require the vendor to take necessary and reasonable steps to ensure that transactions are secure.
- Assure appropriate integration with University financial systems.
- Ensure that parties comply with Stanford name use and privacy policies.
- Use tested emergency response and recovery procedures.
- Leverage University transactions to reduce costs.
- Provide current technology and support for developing applications.
The School of Medicine's digital services should not be used to transmit commercial or personal advertisements, solicitations or promotions. Services and products offered by Stanford Medicine business entities are exempt.
All content authors are legally responsible for their commentary. Individuals can be held personally liable for any commentary deemed to be defamatory, obscene, proprietary or libelous.