It is no secret that phones, computers, and technology in general have started to take over the world. It is safe to say that every one of our co-workers owns a cellphone of their own and has probably used it in the workplace at one point or another. “Information technology opens our windows and doors upon the world, allowing us to quickly communicate and exchange data and information within facilities, within healthcare delivery systems, and even across the globe” (Chamberlain College of Nursing, 2020). This can become tricky when put into legal terms in relation to patient safety and privacy. “Communication within the medical field is critical to ensure safe, timely delivery of healthcare” (Chandra, et al., 2023). Considering this patient scenario, it is both unethical and unlawful to take photos and send and receive patient photos on your personal cellphone. This can very easily violate the HIPAA policy because the patient photos are not sent under a secure network and can be breached through the firewall of your own personal cellphone by hackers. It is also possible that someone is using your phone and sees it mistakingly, or you decide to show friends or family the photos of another patients wound. With that being said, technology is very important in healthcare as it allows for more efficient healthcare when used appropriately. “Technology in healthcare today allows for global healthcare information systems (HISs), more specialized clinical information systems (CIS), and the electronic health record” (EHR) (Hebda et al., 2019). Many facilities have started to incorporate secure messaging devices in order to taking pictures, and send messages relating to patient data/care. This makes it so that the healthcare personnel are not taking any healthcare data home as they are to return the device at the end of their shift and the messages delete are a certain amount of time if not deleted previously by the employee. My facility has specific guidelines regarding the use of personal communication devices in patient care settings. This policy states that we are not allowed to take phones within the health care setting that could breech patient information. This includes taking pictures at the desk that could possibly include patient care charts and patient boards in the background of the photo. We do have access to our hospital email, and secure messaging services within applications on our personal cellphones but we have to download and encrypt our phone with certain secure firewalls in order to keep these apps so that the messages remain secure. This allows for us to use our personal phones, almost like in the scenario, but we would be messaging the PCP with a secure application that could not be hacked or shared. 



Chamberlain College of Nursing. (2020). 
NR-361 RN Information Systems in Healthcare: Week 7 Lesson. Downers Grove, IL: Online Publication.

Chandra, S., Oberg, M., Hilburn, G., Wu, D. T., & Adhyaru, B. (2023). Improving Communication in a Large Urban Academic Safety Net Hospital System: Implementation of Secure Messaging. 
Journal of medical systems
47(1), 56.

Hebda, T., Hunter, K., & Czar, P. (2019). 
Handbook of informatics for nurses & healthcare professionals (6th ed.). Pearson.