Regulation of consultation audio recording in healthcare

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.

Fact Sheets

Patients and healthcare professionals sometimes want to record a consultation. They might not know whether they are allowed to do this under the law.  These fact sheets set out how the law in Victoria, Australia, applies to healthcare consultation audio recording. The advice is relevant for patients and healthcare professionals.

Information for patients (English)

Information for patients (simplified Chinese)

Information for patients (Arabic)

Information for health care professionals

These fact sheets were developed in consultation with clinicians, consumers and health literacy experts at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and with the offices of the Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner and the Victorian Mental Health Complaints Commissioner.

Unbranded fact sheets

You can use these ‘white label’ versions of the fact sheets and adopt them for your own organisation’s use. They have a Creative Commons license letting you share and adapt the material.

Unbranded information for patients (.docx)

Unbranded information for health care professionals (.docx)


Prictor, M and Milani, N 'Characteristics of Australian hospital policies governing consultation recording: a scoping review' OSF Registry (2022)

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


‘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


Melbourne Law School, Impact Booster and Communication Grant 2022