AMA and MIIAA release 'Guide to the use of digital images in clinical practice'
The ability to take high quality images on mobile phones has increased the use of images in clinical practice, particularly in hospitals. Doctors may use images for diagnostic purposes (seeking opinions from colleagues) or for educational purposes.
Doctors and other health professionals taking images of patients need to be aware of the medico legal implications of taking images on their mobile phones or other devices. In particular, patient consent is required and the image should only be taken where clinically necessary. There are also implications regarding the storage and disposal of images, inclusion in medical records and copyright.
In order to assist medical practitioners to understand the issues and their responsibilities when using personal mobile devices to take or transmit images in the course of providing clinical care, the Australian Medical Association and the Medical Indemnity Insurance Association of Australia have jointly produced Guidelines entitled Clinical Images and the Use of Personal Mobile Devices - A Guide for Medical Students and Doctors. The guide is available by clicking here.
The Guide is targeted at medical practitioners working in the public hospital system, but may also provide a useful reference point for medical practitioners in other clinical settings.
Dominique Egan, Partner