Covert Affairs: Recording Conversations in Physician Offices

September 14, 2015 | Ambulatory Care Risk Management


​It's an awful scenario for anyone, not just healthcare providers: a conversation you thought was private was recorded. Your words, especially out of context, don't represent you the way you would have wanted.

And if you're a doctor, it's not hard to imagine it getting much worse. That recording can end up on Facebook, or Twitter, or YouTube, and hurt your reputation and practice. It can end up in court.

What was once the domain of spies and G-men is an increasingly common phenomenon, a dark side to the proliferation of smartphones and other mobile devices that makes providers cringe. According to the Pew Research Center, 64% of U.S. adults owned a smartphone as of October 2014, a marked increase from the 35% who did so in the spring of 2011 (Pew Research Center "U.S."), and nearly all (90%) of U.S. adults own a cell phone (Pew Research Center "Mobile").

Add in the newest smartwatches, headlined by this spring's launch of the Apple Watch, and a legal environment that...

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