As a simple definition, medical malpractice cases involve a doctor or other health professional making a mistake with a patient that results in harm. Complex situations create an infinite number of possibilities for malpractice, particularly in the age of telemedicine.
Telehealth presents patients with the opportunity to meet with a health professional in a remote visit. Doctors and nurses may physically see a patient through a live connection or speak to a patient over the phone, rendering a diagnosis or prescribing treatment as necessary.
Medical malpractice realities
The nature of a remote visit limits the in-depth nature of an examination. Without access to all the necessary information, lab work or other assessment opportunities, there is a probability that a late detection or missed diagnosis will occur. However, choosing a virtual appointment does not grant a doctor a medical malpractice exemption. Each patient receives the same legal rights as when meeting with a doctor in person. The same standard of care required by law for a physical appointment must be present when a virtual appointment takes place.
Malpractice concerns to pursue
The failure of a prescription or other treatment from a teledoctor appointment may be grounds for a malpractice lawsuit. In these cases, the burden of proof rests with the patient to adequately demonstrate the failure of a doctor to meet the necessary standard of care. Successful litigation in these areas often requires the involvement of qualified medical experts to discuss the standard of care.
Proving errors or negligence in a teledoctor’s judgment or practice is possible. Medical malpractice litigation provides one area of support for patients dealing with a faulty treatment or diagnosis.