At a time when the majority of dental consultations are undertaken remotely, we are receiving an increasing number of enquiries about whether recording consultations is appropriate.
Firstly, any visual or audio recording would fall within the definition of data under the GDPR, as it contains details about an identifiable living person. Furthermore, it will inevitably contain details about their medical and dental health and is therefore classed as special category data which heightens the justification for its processing. Under GDPR, consent to audio and visual recording must not simply be assumed but must be obtained beforehand and documented, following a clear explanation as to its purpose.
These points are not to say recordings should not be made but they must be very carefully managed to avoid the situation where the interaction gets off on the wrong foot right from the very start.
There are several other things you need to consider relating to recordings. As data, they must be stored securely, and it is the right of patients to request copies. This may cause portability issues in providing copies in an accessible format.
Needless to say, any recording(s) would form part of the patient’s clinical record and therefore subject to the usual minimum retention periods and disclosure requirements such as in a claim or regulatory proceedings.
In summary, recordings can be made with appropriate consent, however we would advise members to proceed cautiously.