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Lower Quality of Patient Care is a Concern with Telemedicine

As the pandemic began spreading across Georgia, many doctors chose to move their practices online. However, many health professionals will admit that the quality of medical care is likely to be lower with telemedicine.

The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed doctors into adopting telemedicine at a speed that would have been unthinkable before the outbreak. With patient numbers overflowing, hospitals were stretched to their maximum capacities. Georgia’s shelter-in-place orders also meant that many patients who needed to see doctors were no longer able to visit their doctors for office consultations.

Many physicians quickly moved their practices online in order to help deal with patient concerns.  Many of these doctors, however, would also be the first to admit that the quality of care with telemedicine is simply not at par with the kind of quality that patient could expect in a face-to-face setting.

According to one study, 4 out of 5 physicians made use of telemedicine over the past few months. As many as 80% of doctors in the United States have seen a person patient virtually in the past 3 months. Those figures are true as of July 2020, and are a marked increase from the 9% of doctors who had seen patients virtually in the month of March 2020. However, even among these doctors, close to 60% have doubts about the kind of quality of care they can offer patients when they are providing a virtual consultation.

The remaining 20% of doctors who have not chosen to go online and provide virtual consultations during the pandemic, seem to be extremely concerned about the very same factor – the very likely possibility of reduced patient care quality. Among these doctors who did not adopt telemedicine, as many as half believed that they would not be able to provide the same quality of care, and that, according to them, was the number one reason why they did not want to adopt telemedicine. Approximately 44% of the doctors also cited the medical malpractice liability risk that they would be open to with a poorer level of care.  Lastly, close to 30% were concerned about privacy.

This lower quality of care will definitely be a concern even in the future, as it looks like telemedicine is here to stay. Many doctors admit that they will continue to adopt some degree of virtual consulting, even after the pandemic ends.  This is turn will certainly raise even more questions about the standards of patient care we can expect with virtual care in the future.

The Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys at the Katz Law Firm represent persons who have suffered injuries as a result of medical negligence in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of medical negligence, talk to an attorney at our firm, and discuss your legal options. You may be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering. Call a lawyer at our firm for a free evaluation of your claim.

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