Code of conduct applies to e-health consults

GPs involved in e-health consultations must fully abide by the professional code of conduct or face disciplinary action, the Medical Board of Australia has warned.

The board said in a communiqué last week it expected GPs to comply with its Good Medical Practice: A Code of Conduct for Doctors in Australia regardless of the type of patient visit.

“The code is as valid for technology-based consultations as it is for traditional face-to-face consultations,” the board said in a statement.

In particular, doctors in e-health consults were reminded to ensure their identity was known to the patient and to confirm the patient’s identity, as well as determining all relevant medical history and ensuring appropriate clinical justification for proposed treatments.

The board said it would consult on creating a set of formal guidelines on technology-based consultations “in the months ahead”.