Increasingly, parents are interested in recording their encounters with me. Sometimes one parent can’t be present for a visit. Perhaps the mother of an inconsolable 6-week-old wants to remember what her fatigued brain won’t allow.
It got me wondering if my communication is different when I’m on the record? I think so. Recording a conversation isn’t necessarily the same as creating a useful piece of media. When the red light is on, I am more methodical in the way I lay out a sentence. I try to speak clearly and a little more slowly so that the recording is legible to subsequent listeners. I compensate with inflection and volume for points that I may make with my hands or facial expression. While I may be a little less myself with a microphone, I’m probably more precise and intentional in the way my words are delivered. What I create hopefully has more practical use once the appointment is over.
Ambient documentation will likely become more prevalent with the popularization of devices such as Google Glass. Providers have to be prepared that nearly everything we say and do in the clinical setting could be on the record. But depending on the intent of the recording, it may behoove the recorder to disclose that the red button has been pushed.