AOA tool helps doctors solve social networking dilemmas

October 3, 2016
Ethics Forum allows AOA members to anonymously share opinions.

Questions about ethical issues can arise when and where they are least expected, and the AOA offers a platform to get answers.

The Ethics Forum is a tool to encourage AOA members to ask questions and engage in discussions on ethical issues that they and their peers might be facing.

Members can submit their questions or comment on other questions presented by sending an email to ethics@aoa.org. Questions will be presented as "case studies," and each study will include an online poll to encourage interaction and provide real-time survey results.

The most recent case study addresses how doctors can participate in social networking and improve doctor/patient communication, while being cautious not to reveal any personally identifiable information or HIPAA-protected health information.

The AOA Ethics and Values Committee will review all responses and post comments, offering opinions based on the AOA Standards of Professional Conduct. The names of participating AOA members will remain anonymous.

Member questions may involve topics such as:

  • Cell phone interruptions in the exam room.
  • Doctor burnout.
  • Handling non-compliant patients.

In some instances, answers could vary depending on state laws, such as the minimum visual acuity requirements for driving, and what's required of doctors of optometry to report to the Division of Motor Vehicles. Learn how doctors talk to patients about driving.

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