If our pediatric clinic is like most others, visits between families and clinicians can be adventurous.
From clinicians’ busy schedules to parents’ competing demands (e.g., trying to have a conversation about their child’s health while their child [and siblings] play, talk, complain, and cry… all at the same time). Many clinical appointments include detailed information about diagnoses, referrals, recommendations, and future plans. It would be miraculous if families didn’t forget most of what was discussed by the time they made their way to their car or the train after their clinic visit.
A recent story in The Globe and Mail described that some doctors now record clinical conversations with patients for them to replay at a later date, which can be particularly useful when appointments are a little chaotic, packed with information, and/or include patients who may need assistance recalling detailed information such as seniors or individuals with English as a 2nd language. It’s tough to imagine a clinical scenario whereby a recording of the encounter wouldn’t be potentially beneficial for patients and their families, although legal issues and patients’ covert recordings were discussed in a recent editorial in JAMA. In an era of encouraging self-management of chronic conditions, including obesity and weight management, recording clinical conversations may help to improve satisfaction with care and, if knowledge is power, adherence to clinical recommendations.