The Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in online consultations. While these may be convenient and ease time pressures, Dr Sharmala Pranklin discusses how private practitioners can reduce the risks associated with remote consultations.
Online consultations are at the forefront of a digital transformation in medicine which has only intensified since the Coronavirus pandemic.
It seems inevitable that online consultations will remain more routine in medicine over the coming months and it is likely that many patients and practitioners will continue to take advantage of this option when the pandemic is over.
It is hoped that such technology will help ease some of the time pressures on doctors and will provide greater convenience to patients.
While online consultations do have clear benefits, concerns persist about the medico-legal risks and limitations of interacting with patients remotely online, rather than during a traditional face-to-face consultation where it is possible to examine the patient and may be easier to communicate.
A Care Quality Commission report on the state of care in online primary care services described six common concerns identified during inspections of online providers:
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