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Connect issue 12

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Not significantly below standard The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law defines unsatisfactory professional conduct in terms of the conduct reasonably expected of a doctor at an equivalent training level or experience. The committee relied on peer and clinician views to determine the expected standard and come to a decision. Ultimately, the committee made no findings of unsatisfactory conduct about either the physician's practice of medicine or record keeping. The committee stressed it was mindful of the importance of good record keeping but acknowledged some of the real-world demands on clinical teams. While commenting that some of the physician's notes were scanty and suboptimal, it stated this was not a significant departure from accepted standards. The committee took into account that some of the relevant documentation (such as test results) was available in other parts of the record, the doctor's commitment to professional development and acknowledged the note-taking responsibilities of other members of the treating team. Key lessons • A record must identify the patient and include sufficient information to facilitate continuity of care: - clinical history and findings - investigations - information given to the patient - medication - other management. • Making and keeping a record may be delegated to another doctor, but only if the medical practitioner ensures the record is made and kept in line with the rules and protocols of the hospital or medical service. • You are responsible for any records of consultations documented by junior staff on your behalf. Useful resources avant.org.au — Factsheets • Dealing with professional conduct complaints E-learning course • On the record: medical records and documentation Harry McCay BComm, LLB Senior Solicitor, Avant Law, ACT Your Family Doctors Practice policy holder since 2018 Complaints can be made against your medical practice too. Because your team relies on you, you rely on Avant Practice Medical Indemnity Insurance. A patient complaint could leave your practice, including non-medical staff, exposed to legal action. Make sure your team is covered. Avant Practice Medical Indemnity Insurance covers the actions of staff and defends your business during inquiries and investigations by complaints bodies. IMPORTANT: Practice Medical Indemnity Policy is issued by Avant Insurance Limited, ABN 82 003 707 471, AFSL 238 765. The information provided here is general advice only. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs before deciding to purchase or continuing to hold a policy with us. For full details including the terms, conditions and exclusions that apply, please read and consider the policy wording which is available at avant.org.au or by contacting us on 1800 128 268. To find out more, visit avant.org.au/practices or call 1800 128 268. Avant author

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