Journal of Digital Imaging Open Access Article

Cheryl A. Petersilge, Julie McDonald, Matthew Bishop, Laurence Yudkovitch, Caitlin Treuting & Alexander J. Towbin


Photodocumentation is a subset of visible light imaging and is an important growing segment of enterprise imaging. Medical videography is another subset of visible light imaging that shares many of the challenges of photodocumentation. Medical photographs are used to document clinical conditions, support diagnosis, guide, and document procedures and to enable collaboration among colleagues. They also play a significant role in patient engagement and are a mechanism for patients to share information with their provider without the need for a clinical office visit. The content of medical photographs raises issues for acquisition, management, storage, and access. Medical photographs may contain protected health information, and these images benefit from the standardized, secure processes inherent in any enterprise imaging program. The ability to securely acquire images on mobile, and sometimes personally owned devices, is a necessity. In addition to containing protected health information, photograph content can be sensitive or gruesome or the images may be used for forensic purposes. These types of images require additional protections. Access to these images should be role-based and auditable. To properly identify photographs and to convey information about their acquisition parameters new metadata requirements and mechanisms for its association with the imaging files are evolving. Institutional policies need to be developed to define the organization’s requirements for medical photography, including consent processes. Existing policies such as those defining the designated record set and legal health record should address the management of medical photography.

Publish Date

Feb 10, 2022



Resource Type

  • White Paper

Audience Type

  • Clinician
  • Developer
  • Imaging IT
  • Researcher/Scientist


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