While we are digital marketing experts, our point of difference is that we specialise in key health verticals. This means that we have made it our business to understand AHPRA's guidelines to the best of our ability, so that we are able to support our clients in delivering compliant communications. Much like we do for our clients in Commonwealth countries like the UK, Canada and New Zealand.
We have learned a lot over the years and continue to learn through clients that are well-versed in AHPRA's guidelines, as well as our experience. We are always looking to improve our approach and fine-tune our interpretations, implementing strict internal processes to ensure best practice is consistently applied.
However, we are not legal advisors, we are digital communications specialists and AHPRA's guidelines are notoriously ambiguous and open to interpretation.
At minimum, our role involves:
- Providing best judgement advice and guidance on compliance, with the ultimate decision and responsibility left to our clients.
- Using knowledge and insight gained through our industry experience, as well as the learnings of our doctors which is constantly evolving, to inform our approach to content.
- Understanding that we are not legal advisors and so cannot guarantee compliance, but are here to support our clients as best we can.
- Providing our clients with an opportunity to review all communications and content we create on their behalf prior to publishing, seeking approval. This includes website content, newsletters, blogs, email marketing and so forth.
- Discussing existing content on your site and making edits and updates to any you deem not compliant.
Anyone who advertises or promotes a regulated health service must meet the National Law's advertising provisions which are monitored and audited by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). This includes the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and the expectations of other Australian regulators such as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), who also administer laws that relate to advertising of regulated health products and services.
Advertising includes but is not limited to all forms of printed and electronic media that promotes a regulated health service and includes any public communication. Advertising also includes situations in which practitioners make themselves available or provide information for media reports, magazine articles or advertorials, including when practitioners make comment or provide information about particular products or services, or particular practitioners for the purposes of promoting or advertising a regulated health service.
AHPRA expects all health practitioners to understand their guidelines and to stay compliant in all communications as outlined above, ultimately holding you responsible.
If you’re not familiar with the guidelines or you have specific question please go to AHPRA, your regulating body for further clarification.
At minimum, your role involves:
- Reviewing all communications and content written by Smile Marketing prior to publishing to ensure this is in line with your understanding of AHPRA’s guidelines. Advising Smile Marketing of any edits or changes to be made to the content.
- Understanding that syndicated blog and newsletter content is published automatically if there is no feedback provided when content is presented for review.
- Providing feedback (even after publication) so we can make the necessary changes, or you/a member of your team can make these changes via the dashboard which is accessible 24/7.
- Familiarizing yourself with your Smile Marketing Dashboard. Request a refresher dashboard orientation for you or anyone in your practice so you can access and make changes quickly if necessary
- Seeking further clarification from AHPRA or legal advice in any situations where you are unsure whether content you have reviewed is compliant.
We are here to support you in every way we can. We also welcome feedback and insight from our doctors, so please don't hesitate to let us know immediately if you find compliance issues with any content or communications. This is how we continue to learn, evolve and improve compliance for all our clients.