Telehealth was introduced to overcome physical infrastructural barriers hindering the smooth delivery of medical services. Precisely, the earliest and most recorded form of telehealth was carried out by the Nebraska Psychiatric Institute in conjunction with Norfolk State Hospital to meet the needs of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the mid 20th century.
Over the years, telehealth medical practice has experienced significant growth and impact, thanks to technology. Nonetheless, you can still sue and be sued for telehealth medical malpractice. Therefore, it’s always best to consult telehealth medical malpractice lawyers or agencies whose focus and concentration is ‘medical malpractice is our field of expertise‘.
However, before you consult a lawyer, it would help if you’re familiar with the rudiments of telehealth malpractice. Below are seven things that come in handy:
- Telehealth Is Digital, And You Can Suffer Malpractice
Telehealth medical practices include providing all medical services through audio and video technologies. A vivid illustration is a visit with a healthcare specialist virtually. How then, does telehealth medical malpractice happen?
Telehealth malpractice occurs when the output of a medical consultation results in errors and misdiagnosis. A mishap in rendering or communicating a diagnosis defeats the real purpose of telehealth. This is to say, being digital doesn’t exclude it from medical malpractice.
- Telehealth Malpractice Is Different From Telemedicine Malpractice
Telehealth and telemedicine are synonymous but should never be wrongly used. While both can mean the remote provision of medical services, telehealth is a broad concept that refers to both clinical and non-clinical services.
Therefore, telehealth malpractice isn’t the same as telemedicine malpractice. Understanding the concepts will help you with your medical malpractice claim and legal action.
- You Have The Right To Sue For Telehealth Malpractice
The Hippocratic Law binds all medical practitioners to protect human life, so legal implications are attached to the negligence of duty, digital or non-digital.
A minor injury resulting from oversight by telehealth services gives you the right to sue and request damages. If you’re not sure about your rights, you should consult a medical malpractice lawyer.
- Common Causes Of Telehealth Malpractice
A common telehealth medical malpractice is miscommunication. Since the entirety of conversation and consultation takes place virtually, there’s a high chance that internet failure can hinder smooth hearing.
Aside from that, there are many other errors and legal uncertainties in telehealth practices that make it complicated. A misdiagnosis of software or mobile device malfunction can put a patient’s life at risk and give the victim the right to choose a lawyer and sue for malpractice.
Besides, legal issues in telehealth medical practices are often categorized as civil offenses, not criminal offenses. But this isn’t always the case, hence the need to consult a lawyer.
- Know The Liability Laws Regarding Telehealth Malpractice
As a medical expert, it’s your due diligence to know the liability laws in the state where you reside and operate. But more importantly, be aware of the liability laws in which the patient resides.
For a patient, a medical complaint becomes malpractice and lawsuit-worthy if damages, causation, and breach of duty can be shown. Similarly, you cannot file your medical case as malpractice unless it’s deemed worthy by an expert who reviews your medical history and records to certify that you received negligent care.
Proving the validity of a telehealth medical malpractice lawsuit goes as far as ensuring that a medical expert will serve as your witness and can testify for your sake. While these are general processes, they can be unique—the reason you should engage an attorney.
- Telehealth Comes With Higher Risks And Responsibilities
The numerous cases of telehealth medical malpractice frequently give rise to skepticism. Such thoughts have questioned the true essence of telehealth medical practices.
Medical experts and professionals like Robert Cuyler, a famous psychologist, have made claims that despite the undeniable benefits of telehealth, remote consultations come with higher risks and responsibilities. Often, the dangers lie in the ripple effect of a wrong diagnosis or body language.
Other clinicians oppose this view, though, stating that telehealth has helped solve emergency problems. Despite the divided opinions in the industry, it seems telehealth medical practices have come to stay. A way forward for the numerous malpractices is to pass laws that check the excesses of both the medical provider and the patient.
On a final note, telehealth allows medical accessibility, ease, and comfort. Medical malpractice can be avoided, though, if preventive measures are taken. It’s within your rights to consult a lawyer and sue practitioners if you suffer any form of medical malpractice, online or offline.