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Popularity of telemedicine prompts concern for patient safety

Advances in technology are responsible for many medical breakthroughs when it comes to diagnosing and treating illnesses. Many people in North Adams have benefitted from cutting edge machine and improvements in medicine. It is important to remain vigilant about patient care, however, as a doctor error can still occur even when he or she is using the best tools possible. As telemedicine begins to grow, both patients and doctors have a responsibility to use the technology effectively.

Telemedicine is a method of care in which a doctor communicates with a patient through video conferencing. It is currently used in a variety of ways, from discussing or transmitting diagnostic images to even conducting surgeries with the help of robotics. In many cases, patients tell a doctor their symptoms and show any visible evidence of a condition, such as skin rashes. In other situations, patients who are chronically ill benefit from telemedicine because they are able to receive care from the comfort of their homes.

Roughly 10 million people utilize this form of care, and in many instances, the physician is practicing from another state. This has prompted more doctors to apply for a license to practice in multiple states. However, some states worry that granting licensing too easily could actually put patients in danger. Regulators note that they are not able to investigate a patient’s complaint if a doctor does not have a license to practice in the state.

No matter how a patient communicates with a doctor, be it in person or over computers, it is imperative that the individual receives the proper care. Doctor negligence can cause serious injury or illness. Anyone who suffers a worsened condition as a result of a doctor’s mistake should contact an attorney to pursue a medical malpractice claim.

Source: New Haven Register, “The next time you see your doctor could be online,” Christine Vestal, March 9, 2014 

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