In a recent article written by Leo Briggs who is deputy head of the Dental Defence Union www.theddu.com he explores the increase in recorded consultations and how these can benefit both dentists and patients – http://www.dentistry.co.uk/2017/04/13/thinking-recording-dental-consultations/
Since dealing with dental claims since 2001, I have only ever come across a handful of clients that have recorded their consultations with their dentists and this was purely for the purpose of the patient getting home and listening to the recording in their own time in order to go over what has been advised by their dentist.
There may be a simpler method of recording information given to a patient, but in a different format.
I am still at a loss as to why the dental profession has not grasped the concept of a standard information sheet to be given out to a patient before treatment commences. The pre-printed sheet could contain information about the proposed treatment and given to the patient which explains the risks and benefits of the proposed treatment, the costs and the timescales involved and then crucially, the patient could sign the clinical notes to say that an information sheet had been received.
Once further step is to have a template information sheet on the system but tailor the information given out – much like a treatment plan which can then be printed out and given to the patient to take home to read.
There is of course no way of knowing whether a patient will go away and read the information in such an information sheet but at least the dentist has given all of the necessary information to a patient and crucially any issues surrounding consent to treatment could potentially be avoided by having the patient sign the clinical notes to say that they have been given an information sheet on a specific topic. We all know that if a person signs a statement which has not been read, then they are still legally bound by it.
I, along with other members of the legal profession have used Information sheets for years to convey information to clients. Why can dentists not do the same thing for their patients?