Private practice doctor looking at a lawsuit document in desperation

Disclaimer: The content of this post is purely for educational purposes. No direct medicolegal advice is to be assessed from this publication. For more information, the reader is advised to consult a certified healthcare law professional.

As telemedicine becomes more popular, so does the concern over medical malpractice lawsuits. Though there is always some risk involved with any type of healthcare, following a few simple tips can help you to have an air-tight defense in the event of a lawsuit. In this post, we’ll outline some best practices for providing telemedicine services and avoiding potential malpractice claims. Stay safe and stay informed!

 

It is important to prepare for the likelihood of being sued, as even physicians can’t manage all possible risks that lead to a malpractice lawsuit. Best practices include making sure your insurance policy is up-to-date and following some simple steps if someone files suit against you such as responding promptly with paperwork or evidence produced during proceedings.

 

Procure Telemedicine Insurance

When it comes to malpractice insurance for your digital health practice, the least expensive option may not always be the best. For this reason, attorneys recommend looking into telemedicine policies with risk management tools that can add value when running a virtual medical office or clinic.

 

In the medical world, telemedicine is becoming an increasingly popular way for doctors to consult with patients. While this new technology has many benefits, it also poses some risks – namely, the risk of medical malpractice.

 

For doctors who use telemedicine, it’s important to have a strong defense against potential malpractice claims. One way to do this is to make sure you have adequate telemedicine insurance.

 

Telemedicine insurance works just like any other type of medical malpractice insurance – it provides financial protection in the event that you are sued for telemedicine-related negligence.

 

There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for telemedicine insurance:

  • Make sure the policy covers you for all telemedicine activities, including video consultations, emails, and text messages.
  • Make sure the policy has adequate limits – typically, $1 million per occurrence is a good starting point.
  • Make sure the insurer has experience in telemedicine insurance – this will ensure that they are familiar with the unique risks associated with this new technology.

 

Practice Professionalism & Courtesy

Malpractice lawsuits can be a very real risk for physicians. However, it is important to remember that there are some common drivers of these types of suits in order not only to mitigate risks but also to create better patient experiences overall- such as having friendly doctors who pay attention and respond well when they listen or talk with their patients.

 

The patient-doctor relationship is often a matter of perception. A recent study found that when patients perceived their doctor to be more engaged, they were less likely than those who did not feel this way about being sued for malpractice.

 

One of the biggest risks associated with telemedicine is the lack of face-to-face interaction. This can lead to miscommunication and a failure to properly diagnose or treat a patient’s condition. In order to mitigate this risk, it’s important to have clear and concise communication with your patients.

 

Make sure to explain the telemedicine process and what they can expect. It’s also important to ensure that you are able to make eye contact with your patients during the consultation.

middle aged doctor taking online virtual telemedicine visits on the VIOS Clinic viosapp platform

Maintain High Communication Standards

In telemedicine, good communication is key to providing quality care. Here are a few tips to help you communicate effectively with your patients:

 

  • Make sure you have a clear and concise way of communicating with your patients. This includes having a clear understanding of their medical history and condition.
  • Be patient and take the time to explain things clearly. Your patients may be worried or anxious about their health, so it’s important to be as understanding and compassionate as possible.
  • Be aware of cultural differences and try to be sensitive to them. Different cultures have different ways of communicating, so it’s important to be respectful of your patient’s beliefs and values.
  • Use simple language that your patients will understand. Avoid medical jargon as much as possible.
  • Encourage your patients to ask questions and express their concerns. This will help you ensure that they understand their condition and treatment options.
  • Be available to answer your patients’ questions outside of scheduled appointments. This may include providing them with your contact information or setting up a telemedicine platform for them to use.
  • Keep lines of communication open with your patients’ families and caregivers. They may have questions or concerns that you can address.
  • Follow up with your patients after appointments to see how they’re doing and if they have any questions or concerns.

 

Ensure Documented Informed Consent

Informed consent is a process by which patients are given information about their medical treatment and then asked to give their permission for the treatment to proceed. In telemedicine, informed consent takes on a unique set of challenges due to the fact that the patient and doctor may not be in the same room, or even the same state.

 

There are a few key things to keep in mind when obtaining informed consent in telemedicine:

  • Make sure that all relevant information is communicated to the patient. This includes information about the proposed treatment, as well as any risks and potential side effects.
  • Be sure that the patient understands this information and is able to make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with the treatment.
  • Get the patient’s permission in writing before proceeding with any telemedicine treatment. This written consent should be kept on file in case there are any later questions or concerns about the treatment.

 

While informed consent in telemedicine may present some unique challenges, it is still an important part of providing quality medical care. By taking the time to ensure that all relevant information is communicated and that the patient understands and agrees to the proposed treatment, telemedicine providers can help to protect their patients’ rights and avoid potential legal problems down the road.

 

Keep Comprehensive Health Records

Medical documentation is a vital part of telemedicine. Without proper documentation, telemedicine providers can be at risk for medical malpractice claims. In order to avoid potential liability, it is important for telemedicine providers to understand the importance of documenting all aspects of the patient encounter.

 

Medical records are one of the most important pieces of evidence in a medical malpractice case. If a telemedicine provider fails to document a patient encounter, it can be difficult or impossible to prove that the care provided met the standard of care. In addition, accurate and complete documentation can help to defend against unsubstantiated claims.

 

Some key points to keep in mind when documenting telemedicine encounters include:

  • Make sure all relevant information is documented, including the reason for the visit, diagnosis, treatment plan, and any follow-up instructions.
  • Be clear and concise in your documentation, using medical terminology where appropriate.
  • If possible, use electronic health records (EHRs) or other digital tools to document telemedicine visits. This can help to ensure that information is accurately captured and stored.
  • Keep in mind that telemedicine documentation may be subject to different requirements than in-person encounters, so be sure to check with your state’s medical board or other regulatory body for guidance.
  • If possible you may record the telemedicine session, provided there is consent from the patient during the scheduled online meeting.

 

If you make changes to your records after a lawsuit has been filed, it may be interpreted as evidence of guilt. For this reason, it is always best to err on the side of caution and refrain from making any changes to your records once a lawsuit has been initiated.

female paralegal reviewing health policy documents before presenting to the audit firms

Get a Good Lawyer

If you’ve been involved in a medical incident that you believe was the result of malpractice, you may be wondering how to proceed. One option is to contact a lawyer who specializes in telemedicine law.

 

There are many different aspects of telemedicine law, and a lawyer who is knowledgeable about this area can help you understand your rights and options. They can also help you determine whether or not you have a case, and if so, how to proceed.

 

If you’re considering contacting a lawyer about a potential telemedicine lawsuit, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you have all of the facts. This includes any documentation or records related to the incident, as well as any other information that may be relevant.
  • Be prepared to discuss your case in detail. This means being able to explain what happened, why you believe it was malpractice, and what damages you’ve suffered as a result.
  • Don’t delay. There are time limits for filing telemedicine lawsuits, so it’s important to act quickly if you want to pursue this option.

 

While telemedicine law can be complex, working with a lawyer can help make the process simpler and ensure that your rights are protected. If you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer who specializes in this area of law.

 

Draft a Pre-Trial Statement

If you are involved in a medical malpractice lawsuit, one of the first things your attorney will ask you to do is provide a pretrial statement. This document is also sometimes called a “statement of fact” or a “sworn declaration.”

 

The purpose of the pretrial statement is to allow your attorney to get an idea of your version of events and to help prepare for trial. It should be as detailed as possible, and you should include any relevant information that might be helpful to your case.

 

This document is not intended for public consumption; it is meant only for your attorney and the other side’s attorneys. However, if the case goes to trial, your statement may be used as evidence, so it is important, to be honest, and accurate.

 

Here are some tips for drafting a pretrial statement:

  • Be thorough. Include all relevant information, even if you think it might not be important.
  • Be honest. Do not try to hide anything or mislead the other side.
  • Be specific. Include dates, times, names, and any other pertinent details.
  • Use your own words. Do not try to copy someone else’s statement or use legal jargon. Just tell your story in your own words.

 

Keep Calm & Carry On

Physicians are at high risk for malpractice lawsuits, and while it is impossible to prevent every possible scenario that could lead to legal action, these are some best practices you can follow to protect yourself.

 

If you are facing a malpractice lawsuit, it is important to remain calm and consult with a lawyer. A malpractice lawsuit can be stressful, but it is important to remember that these lawsuits are often complex and can take months or even years to resolve. By remaining calm and working with a lawyer, you can increase your chances of success in the lawsuit.

 

Stay informed about industry updates by joining our mailing list.

 
Ismail Sayeed CEO Medical Director ViOS, Inc.

BLOG AUTHOR

Dr. Ismail Sayeed

Dr. Sayeed is the Medical Director of ViOS, Inc. He is a deeply committed physician entrepreneur & medical blog writer. While building the global infrastructure of the VIOS Clinic, he is dedicated to educate people on the potential of specialist telemedicine for managing chronic diseases.

Read more about him in his author bio

Share This