Friday, April 22, 2016

Virtual Care: The Course

Virtual Care is nothing new, nor extraordinary.  Since the advent of the telephone physicians and patients have conversed about illness over the phone. We have taken this for granted and do not think of this as Virtual Care.



Whether it is the M.D., RN or PA the patient calls the office and often describes what are their symptoms, the physician's office will either recommend a face-face visit or give some interim treatment advice, or tell the patient to make an appointment immediately.

In many ways telemedicine is the same, only better. A video image supplements the verbal exchange, and the patient is more engaged than they would be in a telephone conversation.

CME courses with category 1 credits are now available from several sources.

Digital Health Space offers these excellent Post-Graduate Courses that are accredited  for CME requirements for re-license.


VIRTUAL CARE, THE COURSE

However, as in many progressive  developments physicians are skeptical, and averse to criticism and/or medical malpractice liability. (As well they should be). There are several caveats, some described in the Virtual Care, The Course

As yet, there are no reliable studies indicating how many legal claims have been filed against providers offering virtual consults.

Some issues include

1. Abandonment

2. Failure to diagnose

3. Not meeting a standard of care

4. Failure to refer

In most cases physicians are already well trained in these areas during medical school and/or post-graduate training.

Additional information should be posted on a telemedicine platform prior to the online connection with the provider listing the 'rules of engagment".  And perhaps an electronic signature of the patient, recorded in the record.

Ideally as technology advances each telehealth session will be recorded in the electronic record of the patient.



References:



What is Telehealth?

Short Educational Videos

Telehealth Training Programs

Open Mic Webinar Recordings  This link offers a broad spectrum of questions and answers about telehealth issues including 


Telehealth Tool Kits


For patients and providers: The Bottom _______________









Virtual Care: The Course

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