The normal waiting time for a new patient to seen by a family practitioner in America is somewhere around 19 days or 65 days if you are unfortunate to be living in Boston. Once you have the appointment, you go ahead and wait for 1 hour in the office before been seen with the doctor. These estimates are according to CNN Money on a survey done in August 2014. The statistics don’t mention the extra hustles of finding a sitter, missing school or work, the occasional office staff suspecting you of deliberating missing work even though you are paying the medical bill through the nose. It explains why telehealth is taking off and over in many parts of the country and the World.
According to the American Telemedicine Association, telehealth is the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunication technologies and according to many health prophets and seers, telehealth is growing by leaps and bounds as time goes by.
Telehealth comes with many advantages and benefits which include:
- Convenience: As employees can have their medical appointments at nights or weekends rather than traveling long distances to get the medical attention they require.
- Time and Cost saving. Save the patient time and money they could have used to travel from their location to the medical clinic location and back. The ability of this health care option appeals to many as they can receive professional treatment and diagnosis remotely at their own comfort.
If you are a doctor or a health care giver and you would like to venture into the world of telehealth and telemedicine, it’s important you consult a telehealth attorney before undertaking in any acts of the service. Some of the recommendations a telehealth attorney should give include:
The importance of establishing a true patient –doctor relationship
Telehealth services should be grounded on a genuine relationship between the doctor and the patient prior providing telemedicine services which can be established through face to face encounter in cases required.
Doctors and other health care givers ought to be well advised by telehealth attorneys on the laid out state laws and guidelines they need to abide before undertaking to provide the service.
Scope of practice
The state scope of practice laws should guide telehealth service delivery
Privacy and Security
A telehealth attorney ought to be consulted on the ways practitioners can abide by laws addressing privacy and security of a patient’s health records and information.
There are many other roles a telehealth attorney can play in regards to offer you sound advice on the existing laws, policies and guidelines. It’s important to seek their audience before setting out to venture into telemedicine.