It is crucial that patient confidentiality be maintained. Under no circumstances must information be uploaded either in the patient's presenting symptoms, case description or images themselves that could identify an individual patient.
In short nothing in your images or description could lead to identification of an individual. The most easily overlooked is embedded data on your images. As such, ideally, your images should have no text on them whatsoever.
What is considered an identifier
Identifiers are anything that could lead to the images being linked to a particular patient. Identifiers include (adapted from the HIPAA guidelines) 1:
- date of birth
- address, including full or partial postal code
- telephone or fax numbers or contact information
- e-mail addresses
- unique identifying numbers (e.g. UR, MRN, HID etc..)
- vehicle identifiers
- medical device identifiers (e.g serial numbers)
- web or internet protocol addresses containing any link to the patient
- biometric data
- facial photograph or comparable image
- names of relatives
Ideally the following should also be removed from images:
- institution at which the study was performed
- date of study
In addition please round off the patient's age to the nearest 5 years (for adults).
If you upload images or text with identifiers
We at Radiopaedia.org are pretty easy going, but when it comes to patient confidentiality issues we get really grumpy. The case will be deleted as soon as we become aware of it. No questions asked. If that was your only copy, we apologise, but you have been warned.
If you find identifying information