Regulation of consultation audio recording in healthcare

Have your say: patients recording their doctors

Have you ever recorded your doctor, with or without their knowledge?  Would you like your healthcare clinic to give the OK to this type of recording?  Have your say in this brief, anonymous online survey by researchers at the University of Melbourne, and go into the draw to win a $50 gift voucher. (HREC ID 24182)

Survey: https://go.unimelb.edu.au/j36e

Project details

Audio recordings of healthcare consultations have long been shown to improve patients’ knowledge, recall of information and satisfaction with care, and to reduce anxiety. Patients may be empowered by being able to listen again to their consultation and share it with family. Digital technologies offer great possibilities to bring consultation audio recording into mainstream healthcare practice.

Despite evidence of the benefits of consultation recording, implementation into Australian healthcare services – either through apps or via policy that supports patient-led recording using smartphones – has been slow. Legal concerns and policy gaps are barriers to official implementation. Challenging issues include consent, copyright, sharing recordings on social media, and their use in litigation.

Understanding and communicating how the law applies to these situations and supporting people to meet legal requirements is vital for acceptance and widespread implementation of consultation-recording technology.  Our research into the regulation of healthcare consultation recording is designed to meet this gap.

Publications

Prictor M and Hyatt, A ‘How to make it ok to Record Medical Appointments’, Pursuit (2022)

Prictor M and Milani, N ‘Consultation recording in healthcare settings: an overview’, University of Melbourne Briefing Paper (2022)

Prictor M, Johnston C, Hyatt A, ‘Overt and covert recordings of health care consultations in Australia: some legal considerations’, (2021) 214 (3) Medical Journal of Australia 119-124

Media

‘Want to record your doctor’s appointment?’ The Conversation, 2020

Podcast - ‘Recording healthcare consultations’, Medical Journal of Australia, Nov 2020

Radio interview - Megan Prictor, ABC Melbourne, Nov 2020

Podcast - ‘When a patient hits ‘record’’, Medical Republic, 12 Nov 2020

Research Team

  • Dr Megan Prictor
    Senior Lecturer, Melbourne Law School
  • Ms Nikka Milani
    Research Assistant, Melbourne Law School

Our Partners

  • Ms Amelia Hyatt
    Senior Research Officer, Department of Health Services Research, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Funding

Melbourne Law School, Impact Booster and Communication Grant 2022