For many clinicians, it is possible that some of their patients are recording their office visit, with or without permission. In a cross-sectional survey administered to the general public in the United Kingdom, 19 of 128 respondents (15%) indicated that they had secretly recorded a clinic visit, and 14 of 128 respondents (11%) were aware of someone covertly recording a clinic visit.1 Because every smartphone can record conversations, this may become even more commonplace. The motivation is often reasonable: patients want a recording to listen to again, improve their recall and understanding of medical information, and share the information with family members.2 A review identified 33 studies (including 18 randomized trials) of patient use of audio-recorded clinic-visit information. Audio recordings were highly valued; across the studies, 72% of patients listened to their recordings, 68% shared them with a caregiver, and individuals receiving recordings reported greater understanding and recall of medical information.3
Elwyn G, Barr PJ, Castaldo M. Can Patients Make Recordings of Medical Encounters?What Does the Law Say?. JAMA. 2017;318(6):513–514. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.7511
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