Friday, November 28, 2014

The Issue Of Taking Digital Images In Health Care Certainly Needs Care and Rules.

This appeared last week.

Promoting a 'Clinical' Approach to the Taking and Transmission of Clinical Images

Targeted News Service
BARTON, Australia, Nov. 21 -- The Australian Medical Association issued the following news release:
The AMA today released a new guide for medical students and doctors on the proper use of personal mobile devices - including smart phones, cameras, tablets, laptops, and portable music devices - when taking and transmitting clinical images.
The guide, Clinical Images and the Use of Personal Mobile Devices, was developed jointly by the AMA and the Medical Indemnity Insurance Association of Australia (MIIAA), with specialised input from the AMA Council of Doctors in Training (AMACDT) and the AMA Council of Salaried Doctors (AMACSD).
AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, said the guide outlines the key ethical and legal issues that doctors need to be aware of before using a personal mobile device to take or transmit clinical images for the purpose of providing clinical care in the Australian health care system.
"Medical professionals routinely take clinical images while caring for patients," A/Prof Owler said.
"These images form part of a patient's medical record, so are subject to the same privacy and confidentiality principles as the rest of the record.
"With an ever-increasing range of portable devices available to the medical profession, it is important that doctors and medical students are aware of the benefits and risks associated with the use of this new technology in clinical settings.
"The guide outlines the professionally appropriate processes of informed consent, documentation, capture, secure storage, disclosure, transmission, and deletion of clinical images, including de-identification and privacy legislation."
A/Prof Owler, said the guide is in keeping with the AMA's commitment to uphold the principles of medical professionalism.
"Sharing clinical images is extremely valuable for teaching, research, and advice - but there are also associated legal, professional, and ethical responsibilities," A/Prof Owler said.
"The guide will inform doctors of the obligations associated with the capture and use of clinical images, particularly when using a personal mobile device.
Lots more here including some very sound basic advice for all clinicians.
Obviously the advent of digital photography and camera phones has really changed the game in this area over the last few year.
Given there can be risks to privacy and inadvertent harm it makes good sense to think carefully how images are handled in the clinical environment.
Respect, professionalism and common sense will go a long way here!

1 comment:

Oliver Frank said...

From reading the AMA's document, the AMA seems to believe that all health care is delivered only in hospitals.

Apart from this quirk, the document is a useful guide.