In 2015, the Canterbury District Health Board joined Celo in a ground-breaking innovation partnership; to take control of unsecured and sensitive information shared on mobile devices between healthcare professionals.
Clinician uptake was immediate, and the healthcare community has since been using a highly secured and privacy compliant, messaging system. Clinical information, including images, is easily shared among colleagues and provides a quick and efficient means of consultation, expediting patient care.
Celo provides both Android and iOS mobile device communication.
British Medical Journal – Ownership and use of smartphones by healthcare professionals in the UK
This article by the British Medical Journal suggested that increasing numbers of healthcare professionals are using smartphone technologies in the workplace. It was found that 98.9% of doctors and 95.1% of nurses owned a smartphone and Doctors and nurses were using text messaging (64.7% and 13.8%, respectively), app-based messaging (33.1% and 5.7%), and picture messaging (46.0% and 7.4%) to send patient-related clinical information to their colleagues. Therefore, 71.6% of doctors and 37.2% of nurses wanted a secure means of sending such information.
It was concluded that care must be taken by doctors and nurses to ensure that no identifiable patient data is transmitted in this way, and healthcare organisations must develop strategies and policies to support the safe and secure use of these technologies by front-line staff.
This document outlines the MCNZ (Medical Council New Zealand) regulations for the use of Internet and electronic communication.
The MCNZ describe the importance of being aware of the limits of any method of communication. Healthcare professionals must ensure they do not attempt to provide a service which puts patient safety at risk.
Patients have rights Under New Zealand’s privacy laws and the Code of Health and Disability with respect to electronic communication, as they do with all other forms of communication.
The Health Information Security Framework is designed to support health and disability sector organisations and practitioners holding personally identifiable health information to improve and manage the security of that information.
Celo uses the updated Health Information Security Framework references and is consistent with AS/NZS ISO/IEC 27001:2013; the New Zealand Information Security Manual; the New Zealand Government Risk Assessment Process: Information Security, and the New Zealand Government Protective Security Requirements.
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons – Patients support camera phones in hospitals
A study carried out by Dr Tomlinson says restricting the use of camera phone images has a detrimental impact on clinical communication between doctors in hospitals.
“Junior doctors regularly need to seek advice from more senior surgical staff or from doctors in another specialty, and this restriction places limitations on the quality and quantity of information that can be conveyed,” Dr Tomlinson said.
“Delays in the timeliness and quality of communication can impact decisions about transfer, treatment and hospital attendances.
“We undertook this research in 2012 after local area health district hospital guidelines were released stating that clinicians were not to take photographs of patients on personal cameras or mobile telephones. We felt it was important to find out what patients thought,” Dr Tomlinson said.
Three clinicians and 140 patients took part in the study, where patients were asked to complete a confidential two page survey.
The results showed that patients believe the use of mobile phones for clinical diagnosis may improve the accuracy of communication and should be used if the treating clinician feels it will help with diagnosis and management.
Ministry of Health – Register of accepted cloud computing products and services
The New Zealand Ministry of Health publishes a list of cloud computing products and services accepted by the Ministry as fit for purpose for the storage of healthcare data. Celo’s services have been accepted by the Ministry for this purpose.