If you’ve got any kind of health problems you’ve probably noticed a big shift in medical care toward “virtual” visits, or telemedicine. While video visits are convenient for both patients and providers, they aren’t always the best when it comes to delivering patient care.
How can a virtual medical visit end up hurting a patient? Well, there are three basic problems that come with telemedicine:
Patients may lack informed consent when it comes to video visits
Patients often trust their doctors to do what’s best, and they may not realize some of the inherent difficulties that go along with examinations handled over a video call instead of in-person. That may leave them ill-equipped to recognize when they need an in-person visit or follow-up care.
There can be documentation errors in a patient’s record that get missed
When patients see a doctor in their office, a nurse or assistant usually goes over their charts before the doctor sees them. That may not happen with a virtual visit. If a doctor doesn’t go over someone’s chart, they may miss changes that a patient doesn’t think to mention.
Doctors cannot actually lay hands on the patient
The physical exam a doctor does on a patient can be essential when it comes to detecting a serious problem. As good as modern technology may be, a video call can’t always give doctors the information they need to make an accurate diagnosis.
Doctors bear the responsibility of determining when telemedicine is appropriate for a patient and when it isn’t. If a doctor makes a preventable mistake that leads to serious harm for the patient, that’s likely malpractice. If you or your loved one has been victimized, find out what it takes to seek fair compensation for your losses.