Why would a Doctor bother clicking photos at work? Some might wonder. Nevertheless, this is one of the most followed routines of prominent doctors worldwide.
Clinical photography has been recommended by medical experts all over as they play a vital role in the patient treatments and procedures. Earlier the doctors used digital cameras and professional clinical photographers for such activities. That was too time consuming and cumbersome and hence was losing its place in the busy doctors routine. However, with the advent of smartphones in the market, the situation has taken a complete U-turn and once again clinical photography is gaining popularity. Especially in India, people are open to technology and want digitization in every aspect of their daily lives, including healthcare.
There is nothing a smartphone can’t offer to its users. You name a need and it finds you an App for that. It’s like Aladdin’s genie from the lamp. Your wish is its command.Doctors are putting their smartphones to the best use by clicking away images of all the significant records such as;
- Treatment procedures
- Before and after images
- Periodic improvements
- Patient EHR
- Clinic inventory/Stock details
- Medical charts & tables
- Bills and invoices
- Any other patient-related documents & files
Healthcare in India and across the globe has been now digitized and made available online for both the doctors and patients. Majority of the doctors and patients are already a part of this change and using technology to the max for gaining benefits. Clinical management software like KiviHealth is immensely popular with doctors and patient and this is based on the increase in demand for the new technology that keeps evolving and coming up with the latest features and products for their users. Since the smartphones are always close by and instantly available, KiviHealth has come up with an image gallery segment which will further enhance the doctor’s user experience by taking their practice to a whole new level of efficiency and comfort. Till the time it’s formally introduced, we would like to point out the benefits of clicking patient details images and storing it on the device gallery to make your practice well organized, time savvy and systematic.
- In the best interest of the patient’s health and well-being, clinical pictures are the vital scales to measure their clinical evaluation and improvement.
- The significance of recordings and images for training and aiding the new clinical staff members is a well-established fact. It’s easier for them to understand than a mere case study file.
- Comparing pre-operative and post-operative photos assists in making key changes to the treatments and procedures.
- It provides logical justifications for using images, especially in dermatology and corrective surgeries conducted.
- Can have a backup of all the patient-related health records and data within their reach.
- Dermatologist, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Dentists, Gynecologists, Oncologist and Plastic surgeons are immensely benefitted by this image based practices so far.
- It has also proved its importance from the medico-legal aspect to help avoid allegations post treatments and other judicial issues faced by doctors in few cases worldwide.
- Further, it is necessary for forensic reasons and other related matters at hand.
With technological capabilities, increasing and the mobile devices being an integral part of our lives, capturing an image of a patient and their medical documents for both clinical and educational purposes, has become a must.
Smartphones are in true sense revolutionizing medicine from all aspects nowadays. Certain instances of doctors using an iPhone for Otoscopy have resulted in favourable and fast results. The recordings were easily shared with co-consultants and patients to discuss the situational diagnosis and the best possible treatments. Also, the iPhone 4 has been used for eye examinations by few doctors using a fundus chart recently. The results were truly outstanding.
Like every story, this too has another side. Even though clinical photography is a preferred routine, there are certain rules to be followed by the medics in order to protect the patient’s identity and to maintain the confidentiality between them as per the universal medical laws.
What is the right way to do it?
- Always take your patient’s consent before taking pictures.
- Always explain the use and purpose of the images taken to the patient or guardians.
- Always safeguard their interests by saving the images in a regulated environment with a controlled access
- Always make sure that the pics do not reveal your patient’s identity or any private data is leaked online.
- Always train your team to maintain the patient’s anonymity and dignity at all times.