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The medicolegal implications of teleconsulting in the UK


, : The medicolegal implications of teleconsulting in the UK. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare 1(4): 196-201

Broadly speaking, the medicolegal position of doctors involved in a telemedicine consultation is similar to that when telephone, fax, email or letter is used instead. All amount to the provision of advice from a distance and the normal standards of care and skill will apply. There is therefore a duty to practise to a reasonable level of skill. In a telemedicine consultation between general practitioner and hospital specialist, the referring doctor must give an accurate history (note that a video record would provide retrospective proof). For anything more than treatment purposes, the patient's permission is required before recording. There may be occasions when it is inappropriate not to use telemedicine if that is considered to be best practice in the circumstances. Time will tell whether teleconsulting is a more efficient method of practising medicine, as some people believe already. Ultimately many of the questions raised here about the medicolegal implications of such telemedicine will be determined in the courts.

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PMID: 9375143


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