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The Recording of Images During Diagnostic Examinations

The Society and College of Radiographers (SCoR) has been made aware of an increasing number of requests by patients (and those accompanying them) to take photographs of the diagnostic image on screen using mobile phone and other devices. This has been an issue in obstetric ultrasound and SCoR published guidance in April 2010 see The recording of images during diagnostic or screening obstetric ultrasound examinations available on the website at http://doc-lib.sor.org

The decision as to whether to allow this should be made by the individual departments concerned although in general terms the SCoR would discourage the recording of images during diagnostic procedures.

Departments should have a clear policy on this issue following a risk assessment that takes account of the following:

i) Possible medico-legal complications arising if an abnormality is recorded that is not reported or acted upon. Conversations between the radiographer and patient may also be recorded. The employer must be aware of any local arrangements if it is decided to allow this as they may impact on its risk management strategy and insurance arrangements.

ii) Members of the radiography workforce will have a preference both as a group and individually and these should clearly be taken into account. Many will not want to be filmed or recorded and their wishes should be respected.

iii) It can be a great distraction and can increase stress levels for the radiographer at a time when they require very high levels of concentration.

iv) It has the potential to unnecessarily extend the time of the diagnostic examination.

v) Departments should consider consulting with any relevant patient liaison groups that the employing authority may have and ensure the finally agreed policy is publically available.

vii) Departments might also wish to consider how staff should respond to situations where filming begins or continues without permission and contrary to the agreed policy.

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