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2022 RACGP curriculum and syllabus
for Australian general practice
The Abuse and violence: working with our patients in general practice provides the best-available current evidence for GPs
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Download the Standards for general practice (5th edition) - a benchmark for quality care and risk management in Australian general practices
Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for general practitioners
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Read all of the RACGP reports and submissions on various healthcare topics
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Social media in general practice
Health practitioners and health organisations have a legal obligation to keep patient information confidential and protect the privacy of patients’ information. This obligation applies to the use of social media. The MBA’s Good medical practice: A code of conduct for doctors in Australia, section 3.4, states that good medical practice involves ‘Ensuring that your use of social media is consistent with your ethical and legal obligations to protect patient confidentiality and privacy.’3
When using social media, staff must not discuss patients or post pictures of procedures, case studies, patients, or sensitive material. Such material posted online may identify patients without their informed consent.
For further guidance refer to the RACGP’s Privacy and managing health information in general practice
Consider the below points in regard to Professional conduct whilst online:
If the views displayed on your personal social media page do not directly reflect those of the general practice, boards, or committees that you are a part of, insert a disclaimer that explains this. For example, ‘This account reflects my personal views and not the views of my employer, or any businesses, committees or boards with which I am involved.’ However, you should be aware that disclaimers may be of little practical use in the absence of supporting or reinforcing activities.
Before participating in social media use, it is important for GPs and general practice staff to secure computers, digital technologies, and internet and Wi-Fi connections to ensure that your practice is protected against potential exposure to unauthorised access and theft or loss of personal information.
For guidance and a framework to evaluate risks, and solutions to improve competency and capacity in computer and information security, refer to the RACGP’s Information security in general practice.
If your practice intends to use social media, you must ensure that you have a social media policy in place and that staff comply with the policy and its relevant content. Develop a practice code of conduct for the use of social media that reflects the MBA’s Good medical practice: A code of conduct for doctors in Australia. The RACGP has a social media policy template that you can adapt to your practice.
Consider the following when deciding whether to use social media in your practice.
Do you have the staff resources to implement and manage your social media profiles?
What policies and procedures will you need to create to use social media safely and efficiently?
Will this be of benefit to your patients?
Do you have the time to train staff?
What social media platforms will allow you to collaborate with the most relevant groups or people?
Who is your target audience?
Will you be able to connect with your target audience to increase your business profile?
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