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Great Overview of the Pros and Cons of Telehealth

As you can see from above, there are many pros and cons to #telehealth. In my opinion, it should be used as boots and suspenders for patients that cannot come in person for risks, ability, or socioeconomic status and or for simple medication updates, follow-ups or maintenance care.


See attached 12-minute video:

The rising adoption of telehealth has highlighted the myriad challenges it presents to patients, providers, and healthcare systems.

In this video series, TDC Group and Candello feature patient safety leaders and risk management experts who provide guidance and practice management tips to improve virtual care for all. In this video, experts discuss what to consider when deciding to use virtual visits, how to handle triage in virtual care, how to ensure accurate diagnoses with telehealth, strategies for providing quality patient care during a virtual visit, developing good web-side manner, and when to convert a virtual visit into an in-person visit.

Sponsored by: TDC Group

Keep in mind mental health is an entirely different ballgame and risk.

  • Seventy-five percent of telemedicine lawsuits are from #diagnosticerror. If it doesn't feel right to see a person virtually, don't do it.

  • Physicians and care team members should trust their instincts. For example, suppose you, as the patient, have a lot going on, a complex disease process, and are generally in poor health. In that case, a #telehealth appointment is probably not for you unless there are transportation problems and a risk of infection from a waiting room. You must be comfortable sharing everything to help your provider make an accurate diagnosis.

  • How many times have you gone to the doctor for a sinus infection or something generally benign and brought up something that the doctor has not assessed but since you are in the office, patients often take advantage of the opportunity to ask further questions that deviate from the initial visit reason. When these unexpected symptoms come up, your doctor is limited in what he or she can do through the phone or PC.

  • Before a telehealth visit, you are asked to complete paperwork prior. It varies from confirming insurance to why you need an appointment to medical history. A lot of this can be done online prior to your appointment to save time.

  • The doctor should make #triage considerations based on the #patient and #healthhistory. If you have a rash, bump, growth, irregular heartbeat, irregular blood pressure, issues with weight, orthopedic problems, etc., it can be looking for trouble not to go in person.

  • For the most part, when using telehealth, you can't test the tone of a muscle, palpate a mass, or see a patient's hygiene, self-care and affect.

  • The physician should ask more questions up front and extend the time of a telehealth visit to see and appreciate social and behavioral cues.

  • Test, test, and test again. Technology is full of errors that are beyond our control.

  • In a perfect world, technology should be transparent. Make sure the patient understands what is being said. They should leave with instructions and, in many cases, a follow-up visit.

  • Be careful what you choose to do virtually. Giving a patient "bad news" based on a test, biopsy, or lab results should be done in person.

  • Non-verbal communication is missed and essential in patient care.

  • One value is for someone traveling a long distance for an appointment. Between travel, wait for time, registration, and your visit, you could spend four or more hours when you could have spent 15 minutes on a telehealth visit.

As you can see from above, there are many pros and cons to #telehealth. I think it should be used as boots and suspenders for patients who cannot come in person for risks, ability, or socioeconomic status and for simple medication updates, follow-ups or maintenance care.

1 Comment

Nov 30, 2022

As someone who has done both for mental health, I can surely say that you can hide so much with telehealth vs in person. Messy hair? Ponytail and a hat. Too depressed to get ready for a an actual visit? Just put on clean clothes and get yourself looking decent and don't be in direct light. Hold the phone, etc, a bit away from you so they can't see you head on. The list is endless. Plus you are right about their being so many things that can be missed over the phone or laptop vs in person. You may forget to say something, or something goes unnoticed. It's too simple. In person should still be the meat and potatoes,…

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