We hear from a lot of people that they want to find ways to better stay on top of their health, but aren't quite sure how to take that next step. In fact, one of the most common questions we get is whether you can record a doctor’s visit. For many people, the question is two-pronged: a matter of comfort, and, well, a question about what’s allowed!

What are the benefits of recording a doctor’s visit?

As you might imagine, using an app to record a doctor’s visit actually improves the experience for both you and your doctor. Abridge was created specifically for health conversations, so when you use Abridge to record your doctor’s visit, you get much more than just an audio recording. After recording, you’ll receive a transcribed summary of the most important parts of the conversation, such as when your doctor talks about instructions, medications, and follow-ups. These takeaways will make it easier for you to adhere to your doctor’s treatment plan. This isn’t just idle convenience, though: Research shows that patients forget up to 80% of the information they receive from doctors, so the ability to revisit your doctor’s advice is key.

So, can you record a doctor’s visit?

You may be wondering, though, can you record a doctor’s visit? Generally speaking, the answer is yes. In fact, the healthcare professionals we work with at Abridge really appreciate that their patients are able to revisit their advice. 

And it turns out that rules for recording doctors' visits are the same for any other type of conversation between people. This means the specifics depend a bit on where you live and whether or not you ask the other person beforehand. 

In most parts of the country — 39 of 50 states plus the District of Columbia — you can record a doctor visit, even without asking. That said, we think transparency is the foundation of any good relationship — so even though it’s perfectly legal, at Abridge we recommend that you recording to your doctor before proceeding with recording the conversation. And 11 states — California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington — actually require that everyone gives the OK for any conversation to be recorded, so it’s definitely good practice to give your doctor a heads up. 

Tips on how to ask to record a doctor’s visit

Want to know how to actually ask whether you can use an app to record a doctor’s visit? Even if you feel awkward broaching the topic the first time, chances are that your doctor has been asked before. We recommend keeping it simple, starting the appointment with something like:

  • “I’ve been using this new app to help me better remember my next steps. It defines medical terms for me and lets me review your advice.”
  • “Since my family can’t join me during this visit, I’d like to record the visit and then recap the conversation to keep them in the loop.”
  • “Is it OK if I record this conversation? It helps me stay in the moment."

After all, it’s easy to see how recordings can be helpful for getting a holistic picture of your health and sharing them with loved ones. Researchers have found that people who listen to recordings of conversations with their doctors report higher satisfaction — and that the number of people seeking to record is on the rise.

Have thoughts on recording? We’re all ears. Reach out any time at hello@abridge.com.

health conversations
patient recordings
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