Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Using your phone camera in the clinical setting

If your mobile phone has a built-in camera, do you use it in the clinical setting? When I was a medical student, there were so many times I wished I had a camera so that I could take a picture of a rash or another strange lesion.

There are so many opportunities to take pictures (or even videos) when you're seeing patients, but is this appropriate? It certainly isn't appropriate if you don't have the patient's permission. But what if the patient is unable to give you permission? What if the patient is intubated and sedated in the ICU? What if the patient is not medically competent to make decisions?

A digital photo can also be entered into the medical record and dermatologists rely on digital cameras all the time to track the progress of moles and other lesions that may turn malignant. If you're a student or you're in training, you may want to leverage those opportunities where you can take a photo and then make a presentation in a group setting.

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