Medico‐legal implications of audiovisual recordings of telehealth encounters

Caitlin C Farmer, Sam C Pang, Dev Kevat, Jessica Dean, Danielle Panaccio and Patrick D Mahar
Med J Aust 2021; 214 (8): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51008
Published online: 12 April 2021

The COVID‐19 pandemic has necessitated rapid uptake and use of telehealth, unmasking a number of concerns potentially not previously contemplated by clinicians, patients and legislators

In the physical distancing climate of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19), the ubiquity of virtual communications in medical practice generates a number of challenges. Consultation via telehealth allows for creation of audiovisual documentation of the clinical interaction as well as observation by unseen parties from each participant’s perspective, either in real time or subsequently via review of any recordings. It is necessary for clinicians to i) obtain informed consent for clinician‐led recordings, ii) be aware of potential patient‐generated recordings (both declared and undeclared), and iii) meet legal, privacy and storage requirements pertaining to health information arising from a virtual consultation.

  • 1 Monash Health, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health, Melbourne, VIC
  • 3 Western Health, Melbourne, VIC
  • 4 St Vincent’s Health, Melbourne, VIC
  • 5 Skin Health Institute, Melbourne, VIC
  • 6 Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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