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Cell Phone Camera

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We have a Pathologist who is off site, and she has asked that techs take photos of abnormal hematology cells with their cell phone and text them to her if they have any questions.  We are very uncomfortable with this for the following reasons:

1.  We have a no cell phone policy in the lab due to tech distraction and universal precautions (everything in the lab is considered dirty and handled with gloves

2.  The hospital does not pay for our person cell phones.  

 

Has anyone ever heard of this request?  Apparently she also does not like to have to review a slide and locate the cell in question, she wants it shown to her.  I say she is getting paid for a Pathology Review of a slide and she can find her own cells.

 

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I'd think it's also a privacy issue.  Where I work, we can only use phones encrypted by our hospitals approved encryption software for sending patient information.  I do not believe we are allowed to use text for patient info (not sure on that as I never would), we can only use our email that is also encrypted.

HIPAA terrifies me.  Violations at our hospital provide two options, final written warning or termination.  It's always at least one of those and depends on the level of the violation.  I suspect knowingly sending patient info on a non-encrypted phone would result in immediate termination.

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I agree with all the comment above.  You should not be sending HIPPA protected info from a personal smart phone.  And most labs ban smart phone use in the Lab due to universal precautions.

Scott

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Now that I think of it, perhaps the pathologist is simply offering to help ID a particular cell (they are not really reviewing the entire CBC) that a tech has an issue with.  In that case, as long as the patient is not identified, I see no problem--other than the universal precautions thing.

Scott

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12 hours ago, kimannez said:

Get a Cellavision with remote viewing software or at the very least a camera scope. 

Additionally, I always wondered at the significance of only one abnormal cell on a slide.......

 

8 hours ago, SMILLER said:

Now that I think of it, perhaps the pathologist is simply offering to help ID a particular cell (they are not really reviewing the entire CBC) that a tech has an issue with.  In that case, as long as the patient is not identified, I see no problem--other than the universal precautions thing.

Scott

Get the lab director to talk to the pathologist to determine if the photos are to help techs identify a skiptocite or if the photos are for review. 

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Problem is this Pathologist is now our new Lab Director!

On 5/16/2019 at 10:45 PM, Ensis01 said:

 

Get the lab director to talk to the pathologist to determine if the photos are to help techs identify a skiptocite or if the photos are for review. 

 

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Even if you protect this on one end (let's say you keep one mobile device or camera in the lab at all times that does not leave the lab), you cannot guarantee it's protected on her end. What if she loses her phone, or her device gets hacked? You'd have to keep all pt identifiers out and not send it along with the photo. But then in that case, I feel like you could easily mix up pts and lose information in translation.

Based on your phrasing, it seems like if you find a suspicious cell and want clarification, that you send a general picture and they could provide guidance. It does not sound like they're using it at the diagnostic level. At least, I would hope a healthcare professional of that caliber is not diagnosing over a cell line.

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Pathologist here. I realize this inquiry is kinda old now, and i am sorta curious to find out the resolution of this issue from the OP. 

I can see if the tech wanted to send a photo as a 'curbside' to see if it is a skiptocyte that maybe this would be OK, and up to the individual tech if they choose to use their phone for that. 

However, I find it a little weird (and bad practice) that the pathologist who is director is not around/onsite at least once a day to look at slides. 

If it's for a real review, then no, too bad. There are those numbered hashmarks on all scope stages so you can send along the coordinates of the area of concern.  Alternatively, and it depends on the scope model you use, but one place I worked you could flip the condenser down and dot the cell on the underside of the slide. Takes the right scope and some practice, but is doable.

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End result:

As I reread the thread I made an error - the Pathologist was the new "Medical Director" of the laboratory, we have a different person (MedTech) who is the Laboratory Director.  Sorry about that.  

The problem resolved when the off site Pathologist resigned, and a new Pathologist who remains on site full time took the job - he will not be asking that we email photos of cells :)

 

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