Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 40, Issue 6, June 2011

Electronic care plans and medicolegal liability

Moira Paterson Akuh Adaji Peter Schattner Kay M Jones Leon Piterman
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Government policy encourages the use of care plans in general practice, and developments in information technology have the potential to facilitate their use via a shared electronic care plan. Sharing a comprehensive set of patient data raises privacy issues and questions about the nature and extent of potential liability.
As the use of shared electronic care plans increases in Australia, new legal and ethical issues may emerge which need to be understood and addressed if general practitioners and other healthcare team members are to be able to participate with confidence.
Consensus stressed the privacy dangers inherent in the creation of a shared electronic care plan accessible by multiple treating professionals and a private sector intermediary information technology provider, and the difficulties in ensuring appropriate informed consent is provided by patients.

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