Finally, it is wise to limit the data you keep on the laptop. For example, the standard patient record contains the patient’s name, address, Social Security number, health insurance information, employer’s name, family information, personal habits, medical history, DSM-IV diagnosis, prescription history, names of other physicians being seen by the patient, and notes about the treatment provided. Should all these be in a laptop?
Consider this: Even if you could, would you ever take all of your old-fashioned paper files with you to New Orleans for APA’s next annual meeting and leave them in your hotel room? Would you leave patient files in your car while you go to the dry cleaner, the grocery store, the pharmacy, and the kids’ soccer game? If you do, and you are one of the many psychiatrists who boast "having their whole practice" on their laptops, this clearly falls short of even the old-fashioned standard of care. ▪