AHPRA released its much-anticipated Public consultation paper on common guidelines and Code of conduct in April. The paper outlines a vast array of guidelines for healthcare practitioners. There is a sizeable focus on the use of social media by healthcare professionals. Social media has now been included in the code of conduct. If you or your practice has a social media account be sure to review these guidelines. One example of breach of social media code of conduct is to include a recommendation from a patient, or statement from a person about the benefits of the regulated health service or business they received from a registered health practitioner, may contravene the National Law.
This is a must read for all healthcare professionals as it provides a lot of clarity around many grey areas of healthcare. Many breaches of the guidelines, according to the paper can result in de-registration of the practitioner. Some of the main focuses of the paper are:
- Providing clarity on advertising of goods and services within the healthcare industry.
- What is ‘acceptable’ in terms of advertising has been clarified.
- What is ‘unacceptable’ advertising by healthcare professionals.
- Use of comparative advertising guideline clarifications.
- Advertising of price information clarification.
- Use of gifts or discount clarity and clearer links to applicable laws.
- Consequences of breaching advertising requirements clarifications.
- References to electronic communication and social media.
If you have a website, social media account or are considering getting either, make sure you engage a business that has a comprehensive understanding of these guidelines.
To download a full copy of the Code of conduct please click here.
Written by: Lachlan J McPherson
Lachlan J. McPherson has been involved in all areas of Healthcare management and ownership for the past 10 years. He now owns and runs Health Media Group Pty. Ltd, providing practice solutions for the Healthcare Industry, and Healthsite which specialises in Web Design & Development for Healthcare Industry.