An increasing number of patients are recording their visits to the doctor on their smart-phones, oftentimes without even telling the doctor. Are such secretly recorded conversations legal? Under federal law, audio recording is permitted if at least one party to the conversation has given consent (even if that's the person doing the recording). Only a dozen states require that all parties in the conversation give permission (per www.bioethics.net). These states are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
The potential impact of computer-driven artificial intelligence has divided the physician community into two camps: those who are fearful of AI and those who embrace it. Many mid-career physicians say AI presents a grave risk to preserving the time-honored doctor-patient relationship. On the other hand, newly minted physicians have grown up using computer-driven information and are more likely to accept AI as an exciting and "fun" way to practice medicine.
At first glance, scoring doctors based on patient satisfaction surveys sounds like a good idea. It's logical to assume that doctors would be more highly motivated to provide the best possible care if they knew they were going to be graded by their patients. Unfortunately, it turns out that patient satisfaction scores may be causing more harm than good.
Coming up with the correct diagnosis a hundred percent of the time is not easy. In fact, it's downright impossible.
According to a recent study, more than 20% of patients seeking a second opinion at the Mayo Clinic were found to be misdiagnosed by their primary care provider (Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, April 4, 2017).
Filling in the EHR gaps so that patient charges can be billed properly is not only time-consuming, it detracts from meaningful “face-time” with patients.
The blurring of professional boundaries between physicians and patients is not simply an ethical issue. It's a threat to a physician's reputation, license, and livelihood...not to mention the liability risk.
Some boundary violations are obvious, such as pursuing an intimate relationship with a patient or with a member of the patient's family. Others are not so clear. Knowing where to draw the line can be difficult, a balancing act between maintaining professional distance and building a warm, caring doctor-patient relationship.