Many people are discovering a new convenient health care option. Seeing a doctor from the comfort of your living room may soon be the new standard in primary care medicine. Often doctors can quickly diagnose common colds and ailments just by hearing about a patient’s symptoms.
To help make health care more convenient and collect quick payments with minimal effort, some clinics are offering doctors appointments that are conducted over the internet. A person fills out a questionaire, and may send a picture if it will help diagnose a condition. The doctor can then conference with the patient through Internet video services and send a prescription right to a pharmacy. But who would be responsible for medical mistakes in these cases?
Sometimes doctors through these virtual clinics are in another state, which might result in difficult determinations as to where a medical malpractice lawsuit would be heard. These doctors might also only be licensed to practice in certain states. Although cases from virtual doctors offices have not gained widespread attention, there are bound to be more instances of medical malpractice if this technology gains traction.
Sometimes doctors would be able to better diagnose a condition if the patient is being seen in person. Being seen virtually might mean some warning signs are missed that only a doctor would be able to detect in person. Would doctors be able to be held accountable for misdiagnoses in these cases? If someone is injured by a negligent health care worker, they might be wise to speak with a Manhattan personal injury attorney.
Source: USA Today, “Virtual health care gaining ground,” Carol Gorga Williams, May 6, 2013