Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Head To Head

Should doctors encourage patients to record consultations?

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 08 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:g7645

Rapid Response:

A physician (or other provider) who is asked permission---or who discovers a covert attempt---to record a patient encounter has to recognize that moment as an opportunity to build trust. A terse "heat of the moment" response is unlikely to accomplish that. Rather, taking a minute to understand what the patient (or family member) needs via recording may help both parties address underlying issues (e.g., hearing problems, difficulty remembering instructions, information needed for a subsequent specialty visit). Better trust leads to better interactions--whether or not they are recorded.

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 January 2015
Jock Hoffman
Patient Safety
Risk Management Foundation of the Harvard Medical Institutions
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA