► Contemporary patient communications - are they safe?

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In recent years many medical and dental practices and practitioners have increasingly communicated with patients via email, SMS or phone. Examples include confirming appointments and recalls/follow up or reminders about annual health checks. There are also a number of practices providing online services such as booking systems and advice lines. There could be circumstances where long standing patients might contact a practice or even the practitioner via similar methods seeking health care advice. In all these cases where do you stand in relation to your duty of care, record keeping and potential liability? What if your patient is located overseas? These scenarios will be discussed and advice and strategies provided to ensure you are not exposed to any regulator investigation or personal risk. 


Dr Owen Bradfield graduated from Monash University's unique combined MBBS and Bachelor of Laws program in 2003 with First Class Honours. He is a GP and Specialist Health and Medical Lawyer. His passion is to support medical practitioners navigate their legal, ethical and professional obligations. He has several years experience in the medical indemnity industry and has advised and assisted practitioners across a range of areas, including civil litigation, privacy complaints, Medical Board investigations, Coronial inquests, criminal prosecutions and employment disputes. 

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