Standardising and Securing Patient Images - Enhance Insurance

Standardising and Securing Patient Images

Why consistent before and after photographs are essential for aesthetic insurance coverage

We all know that before and after images are a great way to promote your fantastic results and market your expertise. They quickly grab attention and get people thinking about what a similar treatment could do for them.

But we must not forget that standardised clinical photography is an essential part of medical documentation and could protect you should a complaint arise. Storing images securely is also vital to maintaining compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Here we outline the key factors for taking and storing before and after pictures…

Enhance lighting

Dimly lit rooms are great for creating a relaxing treatment environment, but they don’t provide a good setting for capturing the intricacies of a patient’s lines and wrinkles.

To accurately document your patient’s face, you must take photographs in a well-lit room and use a flash or ring light if necessary. Be aware of any distracting shadows and, if you’re shooting near a window, aim to take before and afters at the same time of day to achieve consistent lighting. Be aware, though, the weather can have an impact!

Properly position

Mark two Xs on an area of your clinic floor where the patient and photographer should each stand when taking before and after photographs. This helps ensure there’s an equal distance between the camera and patient to aid consistency.

If using a tripod, take note of its height for the ‘before’ image so you can replicate it for the ‘after’. It’s also worth making use of the gridlines in the camera’s viewfinder, which helps with alignment.

To avoid distraction, each image should have a plain background. Bear in mind that to be able to clearly identify angles of the face on patients of differing skin colours, you may need to use a mix of black, white or grey backgrounds.

Cleanse skin and vary facial expressions

A make-up free face is essential for accurate documentation. Have cleanser on hand to remove any traces that may misrepresent results.

It’s also important to collate photographs that show patients’ features when static and upon animation. Ask patients to remain neutral, smile and frown so you can record exactly how impactful their treatment has been.

Gain consent

It’s not enough to just have a tick box for taking before and after photographs in general. As per GDPR, your consent form must state how you intend to use the images and give the patient the choice to approve or not.

Consider adding options for marketing on your website, social media and in clinic, training team members or other practitioners, and sharing images at educational conferences. You must also make it easy for the patient to opt out if they no longer want their images shared.

Store securely

If you’re one of the many practitioners who takes before and after images on your phone, have you thought about how easily they can reach your other linked devices? Legally, as these photographs are classed as ‘data’ and part of patients’ medical records, they must all be stored securely.

You should always transfer images to an encrypted patient management system and make them safe from unauthorised access with protected passwords. Any copies should be deleted immediately.

Check your insurance coverage

If a patient makes a claim related to a breach of data protection, it’s essential you have the right cover in place. Not all aesthetic insurance policies include this, so get in touch with the Enhance Team to make sure you’re protected.

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