Recording Visits Between Patients and Medical Providers: Good or Bad Idea?

In today’s world, people are accustomed to accessing endless information with their mobile phone. Increasingly, this includes information related to their health. So, what happens when a patient wants to use this technology to preserve medical information by recording a medical appointment? Like many trends related to advances in technology, such recordings present an array of complex legal issues, as reported by law firm Jackson Lewis P.C.

Patients and providers alike can benefit from recording medical visits. Recording visits may reduce patient stress about trying to remember everything said during the visit, leading to more focused exchanges of information between patient and provider. In addition, patients may choose to share recordings of provider visits with other providers and family members involved in their overall medical care. This can result in better comprehensive care for the patient. Healthcare organizations may also be able to use visit recordings as part of their quality improvement and training programs. Visit recordings also could lead to more efficient adjudication and resolution of malpractice claims.

Healthcare providers considering allowing patients to record visits or implementing their own visit recording system must weigh the potential benefits versus possible pitfalls. For example, would recordings dilute the doctor-patient privilege?

Developing policies with respect to recording is important because it raises several legal issues, including state laws on consent to recordings and HIPAA regulations on how recordings are transmitted and stored. Organizations also may consider posting signs in waiting rooms and hallways prohibiting recording to protect other patients’ privacy.

The healthcare industry should prepare for the growing trend of recording patient visits. It would be prudent for healthcare organizations to consider these complex issues on a systemic basis rather than addressing them on a case-by-case basis.

For additional HIPAA compliance advice, visit HIPAAcraticRx.

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