Telemedicine Liability: Texas and Other States Delve into the Uncertainties of Health Care Delivery Via Advanced Communications Technology

By Poe, Kip | The Review of Litigation, Summer 2001 | Go to article overview

Telemedicine Liability: Texas and Other States Delve into the Uncertainties of Health Care Delivery Via Advanced Communications Technology


Poe, Kip, The Review of Litigation


Propelled by the information superhighway and the breadth of emerging computer and communication technologies, telemedicine will change the face of medicine and methods of interaction between providers and patients. Access, quality and cost of health care may all improve, but not without the sacrifice of some time-honored norms in medical practice.1

I. Introduction

Telemedicine is a rapidly emerging and evolving concept in the medical industry that increasingly poses new legal questions that could have widespread ramifications. Telemedicine is not the practice of medicine itself, but rather a tool that aids health care professionals in providing medical treatment and care to patients using modern communications technologies. Through this delivery mechanism, health care providers can offer or support clinical practice at a distance-- across both geographic and time barriers.2 The most common use of telemedicine has helped provide health care to rural communities via communications technologies including interactive audio and video monitoring.3 Individuals in largely rural areas far removed from hightech urban or university medical centers are now able to access a full range of medical specialists and advanced treatment options without having to travel out of the areas in which they live.

A. What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine refers to the use of electronic communication and information technologies to deliver health care at a distance. National Aeronautics and Space Administration ("NASA") scientists first created telemetric technologies for the space program to provide for the long-- distance measurement and transmission through space of the astronauts' physiological data:5 The most basic examples of telemedicine in use today include communications between health care providers and their patients over the Internet, via e-mail or audio-visual conferencing. Through "store and forward" technology, telemedicine images can be digitally stored and forwarded to a distant health care provider.6 This interaction does not occur in real time, so it is most frequently used in the fields of radiology and pathology, because these professionals frequently provide services at some point of time after their patient visit; for example, an x-ray can be taken at one time and viewed later. A more technologically advanced use of telemedicine, which is rapidly developing now, is the use of digital interactive or simultaneous video, audio, and data transmission equipment.7 This technology broadcasts a patient's examination in one location to a health care provider miles away. Telemedical professionals can configure this interactive system to allow the transmission of electronic signals from specially equipped stethoscopes, sonograms, otoscopes, endoscopes, and other diagnostic tools.8 The most advanced systems involve controlled robotic surgical operations, in which robots are controlled from one location to perform surgeries in another locale.9 In each of these uses, the medical information is delivered through various technologies, including the Internet, telecommunications lines (copper wire or fiberoptic), and satellite transmissions.10 The transmission mode requires integration and compatibility with a variety of hardware and software components (e.g., software that compresses radiological images for speedier transmission or enhanced computerized imagery).11

The term "telehealth" is often used interchangeably with telemedicine. However, telehealth specifically refers to health-related activities, such as continuing education for health care providers, the administration of health care service, medical and bio-scientific research, and public health activities.12 Telemedicine instead refers to the actual practice of medicine over a distance using communications technologies.

B. Benefits and Present Applications

Texas, along with many other states that have vast and largely inaccessible rural areas, can readily benefit from using telemedicine technology to help treat traditionally underserved rural inhabitants.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Telemedicine Liability: Texas and Other States Delve into the Uncertainties of Health Care Delivery Via Advanced Communications Technology
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.