Seeing the doctor can be stressful and inconvenient, especially in today’s environment of navigating COVID-19 precautions and overextended care facilities. Thankfully, telehealth is an increasingly common option for Chicagoans.
However, for all the benefits of this emerging trend in medicine, telehealth comes with some traditional challenges patients encounter when seeking care. If you have an appointment with a doctor via electronic measures like phone or video chats, there are critical issues you will want to watch out for.
Failure to diagnose
Meeting with a patient virtually means that a doctor is not able to examine patients physically. Thus, they can miss symptoms and critical information about an individual, leading to missed or delayed diagnoses.
Because of these limitations, patients would be wise to prioritize full disclosure during telehealth appointments. Even if it seems insignificant, notify the care provider so they can make a record of it.
And if you are worried that a virtual visit will not suffice, you have the right to seek medical attention from other providers who can and will see you in person.
Many people prefer speaking with others face-to-face because they feel communication is better. Indeed, some issues can arise when people talk virtually instead of in person.
Possible communication issues a patient might encounter include:
- Poor connections
- A lack of privacy
- Audio or visual problems
- Distracted providers
Should these problems arise before, during or after a telehealth appointment, patients may want to contact the provider directly for assistance. In cases involving negligence, patients may have grounds to pursue a legal claim.
Patients should be able to expect that their care in a telehealth appointment is just as private as the care they would receive in a doctor’s office. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Security breaches, unfamiliarity with technology and platform interoperability limitations can increase the risk that confidential information could be vulnerable to theft or misuse.
Under these circumstances, health care organizations and the third parties they may hire to maintain their telehealth platforms can be liable for any damages caused by security issues.
Making informed decisions on your care
Telehealth can provide invaluable access to quality health care.
That said, to ensure these visits run more smoothly, patients and providers alike should be aware of these issues and take them into account when making decisions.