Telemedicine and e-visits with doctors becoming increasingly popular. Patients need to be cautious, however. E-medicine is a tradeoff: You get the convenience of a visit with your doctor without leaving your home. However, you lose the personal interaction that could help a doctor spot serious problems with your health.
Despite this limitation, recorded instances of medical malpractice via telemedicine have been virtually non-existent. A study that was published in 2019 found no telemedicine lawsuits pertaining to health care professionals and the quality of care.
That does not mean, however, that instances of medical malpractice in e-visits haven’t happened – or can’t happen in the future. Not every medical malpractice case makes it to a lawsuit and many cases are settled quietly.
That means that it’s smart to take steps to protect your safety during a medical e-visit. You should:
- Have a list of your medications and dosages available during the visit.
- Review your drug allergies with your doctor before getting any new prescriptions.
- Ask if your condition warrants an in-person visit, how soon that should be and what follow-up testing should be done.
Most of the time, e-visits with your doctor are appropriate just for relatively simple matters like follow-ups after you’ve tried a specific treatment or when you need treatment for a sudden illness like the flu. It should never be treated as a substitute for an in-office visit, and any doctor that treats it that way is being irresponsible.
Medical malpractice issues are often complicated for patients and their families to understand. An experienced attorney can provide guidance and help protect your rights.