Botox® and ethics

Dr Singh who runs his botox clinic in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, in his latest blog shares his thoughts on botox and ethics.

Needs versus wants – Botox® services are elective and therefore no patient ‘needs’ these services. It’s a ‘wants’ driven business. This is advantageous as patients will seek these services, will be more willing to pay for these services and will be more appreciative of the results of these services. However, it can be a double edged sword in that we need to base our treatments and recommendations on sound based evidence, long term studies and whether we can improve upon the patients current situation.

I look like to follow the 4 P’s in terms of providing ethical solutions to my botox patients:

P – Person – are you the right person to see and treat this patient
P – Patient – are you happy to see and treat this patient
P – Product – are you using the right product
P – Place – are you injecting in the right plane

Advertising – Since Botox® is a P.O.M (Prescription Only Medicine) you cannot advertise this to the general public. The word Botox®® cannot appear in any print media, posters, flyers, etc that is exposed to the general public. Regarding websites, at the moment you cannot have the word Botox®® on the homepage of your website and Google will not allow any PPC (Pay Pert Click) campaigns on this medicine.

As a result of the PIP scandal and the subsequent Keogh report, regulatory bodies such as the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) and GDC are clamping down on a diverts that include any of the following:

– Time-limited deals
– Financial inducements
– Package deals, such as ‘buy one get one free’
– Offering cosmetic procedures as competition prizes

 

 
The GDC have certain requirements regarding advertising as can been seen in section 1.3.3.‘You must make sure that any advertising, promotional material or other information that you produce is accurate and not misleading, and complies with the GDC’s guidance on ethical advertising. All information or publicity material regarding dental services should be legal, decent, honest and truthful.’
Managing expectations – Never treat anyone that you cannot improve upon. The botox patient will be mainly concerned with their appearance and it is vital that you can confidently improve upon this. its the old adage of, under promise and over deliver.

Consent – You cannot stop patients from suing you, but you can stop them from suing you successfully. The GDC has 3 parts in their document ‘Principles of Informed Consent’.

– Informed consent – the patient has enough information to make a decision.
– Voluntary decision-making – the patient has made the decision.
– Ability – the patient has the ability to make an informed decision

Photographs – Take before and after photographs of every botox treatment you perform. This is vital to track and show patients the improvements.

Notes – These should be made contemporaneously. To include, but not limited to; details regarding, patients initial concerns, options discussed, patient input, explanation of procedures, what to expect, duration of results, potential complications, after care, post op instructions.

Summary

The rewards from aesthetic treatments can be dramatic in terms of improving patients confidence and financially for the practitioner. These can only be achieved if you adhere to medico legal requirements and offer all treatments in a safe and ethical manner.

 

 

For more information about botox hertfordshire, please call us on 01438 300111.