Patient confidentiality

A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

It is crucial that patient confidentiality is 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 the identification of an individual. The most easily overlooked is embedded data on your images, especially ultrasound. As such, ideally, your images should have no text on them whatsoever. 

Identifiers are anything that could lead to the images being linked to a particular patient. Identifiers include (adapted from the HIPAA guidelines) 1:

  • name
  • initials
  • 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
  • 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
  • audiotapes
  • names of relatives
  • date of study

In addition please round off the patient's age to the nearest 5 years (for adults). 

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. 

These issues are covered in our terms of use

As Radiopaedia.org is a collaborative project, we are unable to stop identifying information being uploaded, and we rely on contributors to abide by our terms of use. In the event that you find a case with personal information, we would be very appreciative of an email sent to privacy@radiopaedia.org and we will remove the content immediately. 

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