Telehealth appointments have moved from relative obscurity to the mainstream of healthcare due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Viewed as a means of continuing to provide healthcare in a safer, more convenient method while preventing the spread of the coronavirus, telehealth measures may place patients at risk for missed diagnosis or failure to diagnose incidents that could cause serious health complications.
Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose Risks from Telehealth
Telehealth, also called telemedicine, can be a great way for physicians to stay connected with patients while preventing the spread of COVID-19. It is also convenient for patients to visit with their doctor or specialist from the comfort of their own homes, saving time and energy from travel and other concerns. But no video session can replace the efficacy of an in-person visit with a physician.
Many medical practices utilize telehealth as a means for screening whom they will see in person at the office. Patients must first undergo a videoconference evaluation with the physician, who will determine if an in-office visit is warranted. Therefore, unless the patient convinces the physician that their complaint or condition is serious enough, they may not be granted an office visit to further investigate their concerns.
While everyone wishes to trust the professionalism of their physician, they are only human, with human fallacies. Telehealth provides no baseline health indicators to help them make a diagnosis, such as weight, blood pressure or temperature. A busy doctor may not listen as closely with telehealth patients and could miss important indicators that warrant a closer examination.
Medical Malpractice for Failure to Diagnose or Misdiagnosis
Missing important information or dismissing a patient’s concerns via a telehealth session can lead to a medical issue growing worse or causing other problems. Even waiting for an in-office visit after a telehealth session can allow conditions to grow worse. If your medical condition was ignored or misdiagnosed through a telehealth session with a physician, you may have reason to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Kevin P. Race and The Race Law Firm in Atlanta can investigate your claims and help you pursue compensation for your losses if you did not receive timely and adequate medical care because of a negligent or ineffective telehealth session. Call us today at 404-751-4720 or send a message online to schedule a consultation to discuss your possible case.
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