Arunava Ray orthopaedic registrar, Annabel Diane Scott dermatology registrar, Dariush Nikkhah plastic surgery registrar, Baljit S Dheansa consultant plastic surgeon
Ray A, Scott A D, Nikkhah D, Dheansa B S.
The medical selfie
BMJ 2015; 351 :h3145
Re: The medical selfie
We've had similar success with "medical selfies" in fracture clinics at my unit. Taking their own photos empowers the patients and helps with continuity of their care, both inside and outside the hospital.
After discussion with and approval from our information governance team we have extended this concept to "x-ray selfies" of patients' fractures.
To anonymise the PACS data one simply presses the F6 key on the computer keyboard. This removes the patients name and hospital number from the x-ray image before the patient takes a photo with their smartphone.
This way the patient and the hospital are protected from malicious online security and privacy issues as the images have no retrievable data attached.
Taking a photo of their x-rays adds a minute or two to the consultation but is time well spent. The feedback we have had from fracture clinic patients has been universally positive since introducing this service 3 years ago. The patient can show it to a partner or relative who may be too busy at work to accompany them to the hospital each time.
The "x-ray selfie" is a useful record of the progress or otherwise of fracture healing between appointments. The patient can show the photos to their GP, which can be a useful and cheap supplement to the clinic letters. This is especially helpful if there is a surgical infection or when there is a delayed union of their fracture.
The adage "a picture is worth a thousand words" applies to fracture treatment and wound management alike. It improves the "patient experience and journey" through our hospitals and GP surgeries and is to be commended.
Competing interests: No competing interests