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AJGP Clinical Challenge January-February 2019: Medico-legal

  • : Online


To discuss medico-legal issues in general practice in Australia.

Relevance to General Practice

The introduction of mandatory reporting requirements revealed that the health sector experiences the highest number of data breaches of all sectors. As general practices have access to sensitive patient information, it is important for GPs to be aware of privacy obligations to protect the rights of their patients and to minimise the risk of privacy breaches. As social media becomes more widespread, it provides a new platform on which GPs can network with colleagues and share information. However, there are a number of steps that should be taken prior to disclosing patient information online. Actual or potential medico-legal complaints can have significant impacts on GPs, ranging from psychological distress to increases in overprescribing, over-investigating and avoiding certain issues or procedures. Past cases demonstrate that adherence to accepted guidelines will be taken into account if a medico-legal complaint does arise.
References on file.

Learning outcomes
  • Identify the steps a health practice can take towards managing its privacy compliance.
  • Discuss the legal and professional obligations related to the use of social media.
  • Identify ways to minimise the impact that medico-legal complaints can have on doctors’ personal and professional lives.
  • Describe how practice in accordance with accepted professional guidelines is likely to be viewed by a court in the event of a professional negligence claim.
  • Domains of General Practice

    D1. Communication skills and the patient-doctor relationship

    • Complaints and concerns are managed effectively

    D2. Applied professional knowledge and skills

    D3. Population health and the context of general practice

    D4. Professional and ethical role

    • Adherence to relevant codes and standards of ethical and professional behaviour

    D5. Organisational and legal dimensions

    • Medico-legal requirements are integrated into accurate documentation

    Curriculum Contextual Units
    • Adult health
    AJGP Clinical Challenge January-February 2019: Medico-legal
    Provider Type
    Education Provider
    2 hrs
    Start Date
    End Date
    CPD Points
    4 cpd
    Contact Phone
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