Use of Personal Communication Devices in Patient Care Settings
A nurse colleague uses his personal cell phone to take a photo of a patient’s wound and then sends a message with the photo to the primary care provider via a text. Please consider the following in your discussion post:
What principles of patient confidentiality might be an issue? Consider legal and ethical.
How might this nurse use a communication device to support safe patient practices?
What would your organization’s policy on ‘personal communication device use in a patient care setting’ reveal related to this case? (If your organization does not have a written policy, or you are not currently working in an organization, what do you think should be included in such a policy and why?)
**I am an ICU nurse you can use this as reference**
Use of Personal Communication Devices Inpatient Care Settings
The use of Personal Communication Devices (PCDs) to take photos, text, and social media apps has brought a more significant debate in the nursing field, especially in the patient care areas. PCDs can convey a lack of professionalism to patients, families, and staff. It is noteworthy that the advancement in technology has enabled medical professionals to take quality photographs and improves their photography experience. Some of the principles of patient confidentiality that might be an issue, in this case, include justifying the need for using confidential information and using personal information when necessary. The act of taking photos without patients’ consent breaches their privacy. Nurses fail to justify the need to take pictures, which might breach patients’ confidentiality. Article 3 of the Human Rights Act contends that no one should be subjected to degrading treatment which might be taking photos without the patient’s consent (Al Balushi, 2019). Thus, the nurse should clarify the necessity of using confidential information such as patient’s photos.
Despite the breach of principles of patient confidentiality, nurses can use a communication device to support safe patient practices by following up on medical conditions, speed-up consultations, and monitoring the progression of the illness (Al Balushi (2019). The organization’s policy does not allow personal smartphones to take medical photographs, violating patients’ privacy and confidentiality (Norcal Group, 2017). The policies further address that employees use personal smartphones at home and personal places and not during work. The guidelines further reveal that physicians should not overestimate the need for photography when providing patient care. As an ICU nurse, I should maintain patients’ privacy by avoiding photographs during work unless stated otherwise.
Al Balushi, A. A. (2019) The Ethics and Legality of Using Personal Smartphones to take Medical Photographs Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, 19(2), e99 Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6736259/.
Norcal Group, (2017) Patient Confidentiality: Understanding the Medical Ethics Issues Retrieved from https://www.norcal-group.com/library/patient-confidentiality-understanding-the-medical-ethics-issues