Photographic documentation in plastic surgeon’s practice
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The aim of the study was to analyze practices of clinical photographic documentation management among plastic surgeons in Poland as well as to gain their opinion about the characteristics of “ideal” software for images archiving. Material and methods. The on-line survey link was send (via e-mail) to all members of Polish Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery. From 187 members, 86 subjects (47.5%, 54 men and 32 women, of the mean age 40.8 years ± 10.6 years) filled in the on-line questionnaire, which constitutes a representative sample of plastic surgeons practicing in Poland. Results. The study showed that only 7% of plastic surgeons use IT applications dedicated to archiving photographs. Instead, more than half of them store photos in ordered folders on computers. The majority of respondents (89.3%) are interested in using a dedicated computer application to archive photographic documentation. The most important features, which an application of this type should have are (265 answers): quick search (26%), easy to use (24%), quick data entry (22%), data security (15%), an ability to print selected data (7%), availability only to authorized employees of the unit (5%). Conclusions. Cooperation of health care providers with informatics may lead to the conceptualization of a program fulfilling the requirements of specific medical groups. On the basis of the questionnaire study we have collected the data necessary to create the concept of the unique software that would be useful for clinical practice of plastic surgeons as well for other specialists dealing with photographic documentation.
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