KEY POINTS FOR IMAGE CAPTURING AND PHOTO DOCUMENTATION

Digital image capturing plays a key role in proving the success of a treatment with before and after shots. To effectively capture good quality images, it is a necessary step to inform and update the patient with the photography process so that they are prepared for the shoot.

Patient’s Pose
For best results, the patient has to pose in a certain way as required by the doctor in conjunction with the FotoFinder® program. If there is no tripod present, and a close up shot of the patient is required, the photographer must gain stability by pressing their elbow close to their body. This prevents shakiness and blurred images. The photographer must make sure that other photography equipment is not hampering his shot in any way. To ensure that you receive the highest quality images, the photographer must take great care in the cleanliness of his/her photography equipment. The lens and view finder of the camera must be regularly cleaned with prescribed cleaning agents designed specifically for cameras. In no circumstance should the sensor be cleaned or handled in any way.

1) Basic Reference shot
The first shot of the photo documentation series has to be taken with care as this is the main reference shot that you will keep coming back to. All subsequent photos will be compared to the first original shot.

2) Specific Shots
Before taking specific body shots, it is advised to decide on a location that you can easily identify at a later stage for subsequent pictures. It may not always be easy to remember which exact location was used; therefore a general view may help identify the right location for the following photos.

3) Photography area
It is best for the camera to be kept at a certain distance from the subject to avoid image distortions. There are pros and cons to every focal length. As an example, if you use a wide angle lens which is less than 50 mm, this would produce an effect like seeing someone through a spy-hole and this would be undesirable for photo documentation. The user would be advised to zoom in from a certain distance, but also to avoid zooming in too much as that could cause the image to become blurry.

4) Specifications
If no photography software is available, then a conventional ruler may be used for measuring the image. If certain measurements are to be made, a disposable ruler may be used for hygienic reasons. These are usually 10 cms in length and 2 cms in width, self-adhesive and details can be marked with a normal pen. Images captured in this manner allow for a calibration template to be made in the software where measurements can be applied at a later stage. This is very useful in treatments for skin problems like lipoma treatment where the before and after shot will show a reduction in size.

Information and Organization
Many treatments in the medical field are provided on a direct payment basis. Patients must be made aware on these practices and services so they may be able to provide the necessary information. All staff members must be aware of treatments and procedures and the other services the Clinic provides and be able to provide information on any related offer to the patient.

Appointment Procedures
Even at the initial stage of inquiries, a suitable time slot will have to be provided as this time allows the patient’s requirements to be suitably analysed professionally. A big benefit of this time slot is that potential customers are converted into regular customers even if they are only expressing an interest in a certain treatment. A long term relationship between the patient and the practice can be achieved through professional care and a quality, effective treatment. Word of mouth publicity is a very useful form of advertising and a cost effective treatment that generates good results will spread fast. Other forms of advertising includes using flyers, leaflets, brochures and other promotional material that can be handed over at the practice explaining different treatments.

Confidentiality in Promotions
Although flyers, brochures and other promotional material may be effective tools of publicity, images showing a patient’s treatment must not be used without express agreement from the patient. Promotional events are a good way of generating interest and raising awareness on various treatments in conjunction with treatment records and case studies which can be used in presentations that are professionally delivered. These kinds of presentations are an effective way of providing an opportunity for interested people to ask certain questions about various problems and treatments. They are also a great way to dispel any doubts or misconceptions of various treatments in your practice.

However, medical discretion and confidentiality must be maintained at all times. Showing any pictures of patients and their treatments will be a breach of professional duty and will be a violation of the rights of the patient if they are shown without the prior approval of the patient. In the medical field, discretion is paramount and this must be respected at all times.

Advice:
All sessions, from the information session, through the treatment to various consultations must be recorded and documented with the patient’s consent for good organization and future reference. There are special documentation templates created for this purpose, and this will be very useful at all stages as reference points. However, nothing can replace the verbal explanation provided by the doctor to his/her patient. An information sheet may be handed over to the patient for their records, but all visuals used in public presentations involving the patient must have express written consent of the patient concerned.