In a world that is rapidly becoming ever more dependent on technology, it probably comes as no surprise that some health care needs can now be met virtually. Telemedicine provides an invaluable service to those who may find it difficult or who are unable to travel to a physical doctor’s office. There are some downsides to telemedicine though, and it is important that doctors remain cognizant of the potential for medical malpractice accusations.
Dealing with technology gaps
While many doctors in Texas might be ready to see their patients virtually, some of their patients might not be quite as prepared. Elderly citizens are not as technologically adept as their children and grandchildren, and around 25% of people over the age of 65 never actually use the internet. Those who do often still struggle to make sense of new technology. If a patient is unable to turn on his or her camera or audio, or cannot adequately move the camera to show areas of concern, reaching a diagnosis could be difficult.
There are some patients who are eager to try out telemedicine to avoid having to physically go inside of a health care facility. Aside from technology challenges with some older patients, there are additional issues that can make things harder for everyone. These are:
- Lack of internet access in certain communities
- Insufficient number of nurses who are trained to use telemedicine technology
- Patient reluctance to try something new
Texas doctors might also be worried about allegations of medical malpractice. Although health care professionals generally do their very best to help patients, there is little to be done if a patient has technological issues, fails to adequately report his or her symptoms or does not correctly show an area of concern in the camera during a telemedicine appointment. To better understand the nature of these accusations when faced with a medical malpractice lawsuit, most doctors would be well advised to seek out the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney.