Healthcare organisations including regulators, royal colleges and faculties have issued a set of principles to help protect patient safety and welfare when accessing potentially-harmful medication online or over the phone.
The jointly-agreed High level principles for good practice in remote consultations and prescribing set out the good practice expected of healthcare professionals when prescribing medication online.
The ten principles, underpinned by existing standards and guidance, include that healthcare professionals are expected to:
Understand how to identify vulnerable patients and take appropriate steps to protect them
Carry out clinical assessments and medical record checks to ensure medication is safe and appropriate
Raise concerns when adequate patient safeguards aren’t in place.
Charlie Massey, Chief Executive of the General Medical Council (GMC), said:
‘The flexibility of accessing healthcare online can benefit patients, but it is imperative these services do not impact on their safety, especially when doctors are prescribing high-risk medicines."
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Source: General Medical Council, 8 November 2019