In the case of the clinical photos taken with PMDs, “The images were either going into individual cloud storage or were being saved in the phone itself, and were being sent to colleagues via SMS or other messaging applications. Sometimes, patients could potentially be identified in photos, or images could be sent to the wrong correspondent. And while the physicians were taking and handling these photos with the best intentions, good intentions aren’t enough,” continues Dr. Eleftheriou.
The hospital was also missing out on an important patient care benefit: “A clinician would take an image and send it to a specialist colleague for an opinion, for example, but that would be the end of it: the image never became part of the patient’s record.”
A working group, chaired by Dr. Eleftheriou, and including representatives from the medical staff, nursing, legal, health records, and a patient, began scoping out possible solutions. “There were a few out there – one offered by a major telecommunications provider, and a few free applications, which really weren’t suitable. Then our radiology colleagues suggested Agfa HealthCare, which provides our image management solution. I met with them, and the rest is history,” smiles Dr. Eleftheriou.
“Our mantra was ‘as easy as a few clicks’”
There was actually quite a bit more to it, as he goes on to explain. The working group had defined several requirements for an image capture solution. “Today, people use their PMDs for everything – messaging, emails, web browsing. So it’s natural for them to use the integrated camera. The image capture solution needed to be just as easy to use, but provide the safety and security our patients count on,” he explains.