Medical Malpractice in Telemedicine
In the past, you had to physically go to a doctor’s office to get the care you needed when you were sick or injured. While you still have to visit your doctor for certain procedures (obviously you can’t get a vaccine over the internet, for example), many health concerns can now be addressed through telemedicine. Telemedicine allows you to get advice from your doctor via video chat. In fact, many doctor’s offices are eliminating many in-person office visits for the time being, as the coronavirus is taking up valuable healthcare resources. In fact, more than 90% of healthcare platforms currently use telemedicine or plan to use it in the near future.
This increased reliance on telemedicine may be beneficial in reducing the risk of medical errors and improving patients’ health outcomes. This is due to better patient data collection and diagnosis methods that rely on algorithms and analytics. While diagnosis is often improved, physicians may face liability in different areas and this can lead to medical malpractice. One example is the location of the doctor vs. the patient. What if the physician is not licensed in the patient’s state? Location differences can also bring out issues such as malpractice insurance and differing standards of care.
Telemedicine is a form of videoconferencing, but it’s much more than that. It can also involve monitoring a patient remotely or capturing images. It may involve the use of digital diagnostic devices. In any case, the technology must comply with HIPAA, HITECH and state regulations. Also, even though the visit is done remotely, the standard of care cannot be relaxed in any way. Providers must abide by the same medical standards that they would as if the visit were done face to face. This means they must also meet requirements by medical licensing boards and informed consent.
Telemedicine brings about several issues. Prisoners have claimed that they have been neglected by telemedicine providers who have shown indifference to their serious medical issues. These allegations could lead to medical malpractice.
Telemedicine offers healthcare access to patients who live in remote areas. As such, telemedicine can cross state lines, so physicians need to consider the scope of their medical licenses. Are they licensed in certain states? If not, then their license is at risk if they prescribe medication to patients in different states without an in-office exam.
In addition, a third party—such as a pharmacy— can potentially face liability issues for accepting prescriptions from a healthcare provider who is practicing out of state.
Seek Help for Your Medical Malpractice Case
Even when you’re not physically in the doctor’s office, medical malpractice issues can occur. Many pertain to licensing and prescriptions, particularly when the doctor is located in a different state than the patient.
Telemedicine is becoming increasingly common, especially as we are forced to shelter in place. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or death due to a healthcare provider’s negligence, the Dade City & Zephyrhills medical malpractice lawyers at Mander Law Group can help. Get the compensation you deserve. Schedule a consultation by calling our office at (800) 557-0411.