Doctors send patient information on WhatsApp
Doctors in many hospitals send each other information about patients via WhatsApp, NRC Q reports based on conversations with doctors from many disciplines and different hospitals. The doctors use the messaging app to get advice on acute diagnoses from a colleague, to get treatment advice or to send photos of disorders. This seems very fast and convenient, but there may be some problems attached. WhatsApp often stores photos automatically on a smartphone. These photos may then end up on a cloud storage service, from where it could - unknowingly - be shared with other people. It is difficult to determine how often this happens. Here are no clear rules on doctors using WhatsApp. The Royal Dutch Medical Association referred NRC Q to the strict general privacy guidelines and codes of conduct doctors doctors have to follow when using social media, but WhatsApp is not specifically mentioned. Bon Verweij, neurosurgeon at UMC Utrecth, told the newspaper that this is a "difficult dilemma". He realizes that there are obvious privacy concerns, but says that the quick message to a colleague could save lives. ""I myself have saved lives because through a mobile message were were able to much faster discuss and make decisions on an emergency situations than via the old systems."