It’s critical to understand telemedicine risks if you’re a patient

June 22, 2023 | Crandall & Pera Law
It’s critical to understand telemedicine risks if you’re a patient

If you're a patient in Ohio who requires medical care, you may have the opportunity to utilize telemedicine and consult with a doctor via the internet using a telehealth platform. In this position, weighing the pros and cons is best. While you'll benefit from meeting with a doctor, you must rely on the communication platform you're using.

What is telemedicine?

Telemedicine is a general term used to cover the different ways a doctor can use technology to communicate with patients without being in the same location. It can include video chats, e-mails, text messages and phone calls. To use this option, a doctor will use a computer, smartphone, phone and reliable internet connection. This form of communication is highly convenient if you're a patient who lives in a rural area or far from a doctor. It can also be used when you're far away from home or have limited movement, transportation or time.

Telemedicine guidelines

When a doctor uses telemedicine to communicate with you, the technology must comply with state, HITECH and HIPAA regulations. The doctor is also required to abide by all in-person medical malpractice standards , informed consent requirements and medical licensing board requirements.

Is the convenience of telemedicine worth not meeting your doctor in person?

While telemedicine offers a convenient communication method, you should consider if it's appropriate for your needs as a patient. Using technology to consult with your doctor and discuss your medical conditions can be highly convenient as you won't have to travel to their office. However, choosing this option means you can't undergo a physical examination. If you have a question requiring your doctor to examine you, this may be impossible when using telemedicine. In this situation, your doctor may miss a critical element. If this results in an error on the part of the doctor in the future when performing medical care on you, it may result in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

You must decide if telemedicine is right for you when consulting with medical professionals

Before using telemedicine to consult with your doctor, you should determine if this technology suits your needs. If you have a complex ailment, it may be best to meet in person to avoid miscommunication or improper medical care.