Right now, some medical appointments in Hollywood and South Florida are being taken virtually in order to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus and to protect the patient’s health. Telemedicine can happen through videoconferencing apps and over the phone. Telemedicine can be a great alternative in helping you avoid exposure while still allowing you access to medical knowledge and expert care. However, there are some challenges with telemedicine which you should be aware of.
Since virtual care providers do not see you in person, they may not notice some symptoms which are evident when they are in the same room as patients. Telemedicine appointments can also be brief and since this is a new form of communication to both patients and some doctors, communication between doctors and patients can be different. In some cases, this can impact care.
To reduce your risk of misdiagnosis and medical malpractice as well as other problems, make sure that you:
- Update your software if you will be videoconferencing: If you will be videoconferencing or using a telephone, your personal information may be exposed. Always update your computer software if you will be videoconferencing and on the videoconferencing program be sure to check any settings which help increase your security. Read the user’s manual or online FAQ of the program to find out more about safety and privacy settings. If you are talking over the phone, be mindful of who else may hear your conversation so that you can protect your privacy.
- Write down any questions you have ahead of time: Jot down your questions, concerns, and any symptoms you are experiencing ahead of time so you remember them all. This helps you stay on track during a conversation, especially since this new way of seeing a doctor can be distracting at first.
- Make the most of your time: Some video conference and telephone medical appointments are quite short, so make the most of the time by asking questions and by seeking a follow-up appointment if necessary. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if the doctor is moving quickly through information.
- Review and repeat: When a doctor gives you information about a new treatment or diagnosis, repeat back the information in your own words to make sure you understand. Feel free to remind the doctor of your previous medications, your current medications, your allergies, and any treatment you are receiving or have received. Confirming that your doctor understands your medical history is important.
- Confirm your identity: Make sure the doctor is speaking to the right patient and has the right file in front of them. Confirm their identity as well, especially if you’re talking over the phone and can’t see them.
If your personal information has been breached by telemedicine or if you have suffered an injury or misdiagnosis due to a clinic’s use of virtual medicine, contact a personal injury attorney. You can reach a medical malpractice attorney in Hollywood, Homestead, Miami, and surrounding areas by calling Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation.