mHEALTH-INNOVATE (26) Q2: How do you use your phone to communicate with colleagues, patients and families? (2)

18 April, 2022

The Royal College of Nursing (UK) issued a position statement in 2016 on the use of personal mobile phones at work.

It would be interesting to learn about experience in other countries.

'This updated publication focuses on the RCN's position on nursing staff using their own mobile phone for work-related purposes, drawing attention to issues such as: employer's policy; security and confidentiality of patient information; staff safety; and cost implications.'


RCN POSITION: 'The RCN does not support the use of staff personal mobile phones for routine provision of services. Staff personal mobile phones should never be used to record, transmit or store a patient’s personal details, health information, or images of the patient.'


The survey also found that 29% of nurses had used their smartphones at work for communication purposes, with 14% sending patient-related clinical information over their smartphones. A small number of nurses (3.6%) believed that they still had patient-related clinical information on their smartphones.

The RCN advises that nursing staff should adhere to their employer’s policy on mobile phone use. If usage of their own mobile phones for work purposes is a regular occurrence this should be raised with their manager to explore other options, such as supplying an approved mobile phone.

The RCN advises that nursing staff do not use their personal mobile phones for recording, transmitting or storing patient identifiable information at any time.

The RCN advises nursing staff to withhold their number if they have to contact patients using their own mobile phone and should not give their personal numbers to patients, their carers, or their families.

Patients should be discouraged from contacting staff on their own mobile phones. Appropriate work contact details should be provided instead.


Neil Pakenham-Walsh, Global Coordinator HIFA,

Global Healthcare Information Network: Working in official relations with WHO

Joint Coordinator, HIFA mHEALTH-INNOVATE