Safety

Tip of the week: Draft a cell phone picture policy

Hospital Safety Insider, October 1, 2008

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If your hospital doesn’t have a policy for cell phone photography in the building, it may be time. Cases continue to pop up where visitors and workers snap pictures using their cell phone cameras.

Consider this: Last month, the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, NM, fired two employees for allegedly taking close-up photos of patient injuries and then posting them on a MySpace Web page, the Associated Press reported.

A hospital manager received a tip about the photos and began an investigation. Hospital officials personally oversaw the removal of the photos from the employees’ cell phones and the MySpace page, according to the Associated Press.

The faces and personal features of the patients in the photos had been electronically removed before the pictures were posted.

Other employees who knew of the photos were disciplined for not bringing the matter to the hospital’s attention.



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