Q- What are the responsibilities that a physician should follow while monitoring the patient remotely?
- Inform users about the limitations of the relationship and services provided.
- Advise site users about how to arrange for needed care when follow-up care is indicated.
- Encourage users who have primary care physicians to inform their primary physicians about the online health consultation, even if in-person care is not immediately needed.
- Be proficient in the use of the relevant technologies and comfortable interacting with patients and/or surrogates electronically.
- Recognize the limitations of the relevant technologies and take appropriate steps to overcome those limitations. Physicians must ensure that they have the information they need to make well-grounded clinical recommendations when they cannot personally conduct a physical examination, such as by having another health care professional at the patient’s site conduct the exam or obtaining vital information through remote technologies.
- Be prudent in carrying out a diagnostic evaluation or prescribing medication by establishing the patient’s identity, confirming that telehealth services are appropriate for that patient’s individual situation and medical needs.
- When the physician would otherwise be expected to obtain informed consent, tailor the informed consent process to provide information patients (or their surrogates) need about the distinctive features of telehealth/telemedicine, in addition to information about medical issues and treatment options.
- As in any patient-physician interaction, take steps to promote continuity of care, giving consideration to how information can be preserved and accessible for future episodes of care in keeping with patients’ preferences (or the decisions of their surrogates) and how follow-up care can be provided when needed.