Top of your game as a dentist but feeling out of your depth when it comes to what legal forms are important for your dental website design?
We understand how important it is for your business to have people walking through the doors of your dental clinic, but you also don’t want patients walking out the doors and to a lawyer’s office. Worse yet, you don’t want to hear from AHPRA or the Privacy Commissioner because your dental website is deficient of legal forms or includes something inappropriate your helpful web developer copied from an overseas site. Terms and conditions that web developers might include on your site are usually sourced from US based providers, don’t necessarily comply with Australian law and are often designed to make Facebook and Google happy about your marketing, not keep you compliant with your obligations.
There are critical legal elements you must have in place to protect your dental practice.
At Onyx Legal we’ve aimed to address the most frequently asked legal questions we get from dentists, and your chief concerns, when putting this pack together. A big concern for dentists is having the ability to advertise, without ending up dealing with a complaint from AHPRA. When you advertise your dental clinic, you must be careful not to:
- include statements, images, audio or video information that could be considered false, misleading or deceptive, or likely to be misleading or deceptive An example of a statement that is at risk of being considered misleading and deceptive we have found on an Australian dental website recently is:
Mercury is highly toxic to humans although in the past it was generally considered safe when used as part of a filling. However, it can play havoc with your body without you even knowing, especially if you’ve had fillings like this in your mouth for years.
- offer a gift, discount or other inducement, unless the terms and conditions of the offer are also stated
The most common example we see is the offer of a free initial consultation. This is usually limited to people who have not attended the dental clinic previously, or those who have not seen one of the clinic’s dentists at another clinic. If so, those qualifications need to be stated clearly with the offer.
- use testimonials or purported testimonials about the service or business
A patient review that talks about the cleanliness of your dental clinic, the friendliness of your staff or how good your communication is will not be considered testimonials under the National Law and can be used. It is only testimonials tat mention a symptom, treatment or outcome that are prohibited.
- create an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment
For dental practices, the thing that is most likely to create an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment is the use of before and after photographs. The best results should not be the only results shown. Results that show what appears to be only limited improvement should balance the
- directly or indirectly encourage the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of regulated health services.
Where a patient’s dental health means they only need an annual check-up, encouraging more frequent check ups might breach this provision. New guidelines for advertising a regulated health service were published by AHPRA in 2020. The new guidelines reflect some of the more common complaints considered by AHPRA and provide practical examples of non-compliant practice. If you receive a notice from AHPRA and need support, contact us through this website or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Worried that our documents might not exactly fit your dental practice? Don’t worry! We have included a short advice session as part of the package so that you can review everything in the package then make a time to ask any questions that come up for you, or have us check the changes you want to make to fit your dental practice.
Purchase your Dental Practitioner Package now.