In our last post, we began looking at the growing recognition of the power of apologizing in the field of medical care. Honest communication and expressions of sympathy can go a long way in preventing medical malpractice litigation, and many states have passed measures explicitly protecting such communications from being used against a physician in court.
A heartfelt apology, as everyone knows, can go a long way toward resolving a dispute. This is certainly true in relationships with friends and family, and it also seems to be true in patient-provider relations. That, at least, is the experience of hospitals that have introduced enhanced communication and resolution programs which encourage physicians to have a heart-to-heart discussion with patients who have suffered a bad outcome.
Last time, we began looking at the issue of telemedicine, the risk of medical malpractice liability specific to the practice of telemedicine, and the issue of informed consent. As we noted, Mississippi is among a group of states which have progressive laws pertaining to the practice of telemedicine, including required insurance coverage and required informed consent.
The practice of medicine, wherever and whenever it occurs, always involves some degree of risk. Telemedicine, or the practice of medicine via wire communications, is no different. The practice of telemedicine is becoming increasingly popular because of its convenience and its ability to provide health care access to those in rural areas.