Q&A with Dean Dominick: What are the pros and cons of telemedicine related to my workers’ compensation case?

Dean V. DominickGoing to a medical provider’s appointment requires a decent amount of preparation and time to organize. From the initial phone call making the appointment to the travel and possibly taking hours off from work, visiting your doctor can be a sizable time commitment. Modern telecommunications technology has delivered a solution to this issue called telemedicine, and it’s gaining in popularity for understandable reasons.

Telemedicine uses the Internet, webcams and phone to allow physicians to remotely consult or treat patients. This technology can be very useful for individuals with hectic work schedules or who may live in rural places.

In recent years, there have been discussions and debates on the pros and cons of telemedicine. Workers’ compensation attorney Dean Dominick weighs in on how telemedicine could impact workers’ compensation claims.

Generally, what is telemedicine and should I use it after suffering from a work injury?

With so many people connected online, it makes sense that the healthcare industry has shifted to a more digital approach. Telemedicine has opened the door for on-demand medical attention.

With telemedicine, as long as you have a strong phone or Internet connection, you’re able to get in contact with a physician remotely. This has made the whole process much more convenient for both patients and medical providers, who do not need to leave their offices.

Since telemedicine is a fairly new way of handling healthcare, there can also be some drawbacks to choosing this route. For instance, it hasn’t had the chance to get the clearly defined and established legal regulations that “traditional” healthcare at a medical provider’s office does. This could create issues with potential discrepancies in quality of care.

Poor quality healthcare has the potential to damage your overall health following an injury. A decreased level of personal interaction between a patient and his/her medical provider opens the door to errors in diagnosis, treatment and therapy.

Another potential risk is the increased vulnerability of your personal health record. Without sophisticated and secured websites or software, sensitive personal health information is in danger of being hacked or corrupted.

Before choosing telemedicine, it’s best to talk with your medical provider if if makes sense for your particular injury. What’s important to remember is every patient is different and therefore requires a different level of care.

In addition, if you are seeking treatment for an injury resulting from a work or other accident for which you are pursuing a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim, you should consult an attorney before engaging in telemedicine.

At KBG, we have a team of experienced attorneys who can help you get the Results You Deserve® following a work-related injury. Contact our workers’ compensation team today.