Ensuring confidentiality of medical information

Confidentiality is one of the main principles in medical practice. Patients share a lot of personal information with their physicians whose duty is to respect the patients’ rights and not to distribute any personal data further. The obligation of confidentiality prohibits physicians from disclosing information about the patient’s case and ensures that only authorized parties get access to it. Discussions over a certain case among physicians are necessary so that the final diagnosis is accurate, so sharing opinions is of vital importance. Sometimes though the medical information is exchanged at conferences, or student seminars, and in such cases it is not desirable to reveal patients’ personal data. The image format that is most widely used for medical imaging is DICOM . This image format allows conveniently associating patient and diagnosis information with the digital image. There are concerns regarding distribution of DICOM images for training and sales purposes – the concerns are related to patient confidentiality. One of the solutions that ImageConverter Plus can offer for hiding patient’s personal data is to convert DICOM images to TIFF. By converting DICOM to TIFF the tags inside the DICOM file will be removed, while the image itself will be represented in the way closest to the one of DICOM.