In this project, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following competency:
- Determine the influence of legal risks and liability issues on policy and decision making
Telemedicine is an emerging medical technology that allows patients to connect directly with medical providers via video conferencing without having to leave their own home. However, as with any medical tool or practice, there are legal risks and liability issues that need to be considered. Understanding these risks and liabilities, as well as how stakeholders both influence and are impacted by decisions relating to them, is crucial for success within the healthcare field.
Imagine you are a consultant for a healthcare provider considering implementing a new telemedicine application. Your supervisor has asked you and two other consultants to write an analysis report for each of the three types of telemedicine they are considering to help the healthcare provider determine the key legal risks and liability issues they may encounter if they choose to implement this application. You will select which type you want to focus on from the list of scenarios below:
- An obstetrician-gynecologist’s office is considering adding a remote monitoring application to help track fetal monitoring for expectant mothers with high-risk pregnancies or who have experienced previous trauma. The remote monitoring application would allow patients to remain in their local hospital without having to transfer to a larger tertiary care facility to be monitored.
- A small doctor’s office in a rural area is considering adding a store-and-forward telemedicine system to allow the doctor time to evaluate a patient’s concerns and determine whether they should come to the doctor’s office for further evaluation or make the lengthy trip out to the hospital located in the nearest city.
- An emergency department is considering a real-time interactive teleneurology service to determine the administration of thrombolytics to a suspected stroke patient.
Before writing your report, you will need to research the telemedicine application you chose, as well as the legal risks and liability issues related to that system.
Write an analysis report discussing the legal risks and liability issues regarding your chosen telemedicine type.
You must cite at least three sources to support your claims. For additional help completing this assignment, refer to the Shapiro Library Guide: Nursing – Graduate item in the Start Here module. You may also use the Online Writing Center, located in the Academic Support module.
Specifically, you must include the following:
- Definitions: Provide a clear, concise description of the differences between legal risks and liability issues. Consider the following guiding question in your response:
- How might you explain the differences between legal risks and liability issues to someone who has never heard of these terms before?
- Legal Risks and Liabilities: Summarize the key legal risks and liability issues regarding your chosen telemedicine application scenario. Consider the following guiding questions in your response:
- What legal risks and liabilities are essential for those working in the healthcare industry to be aware of?
- What are some of the consequences for medical professionals if laws are broken or liabilities are incurred in the workplace?
- Stakeholder Influence: Describe how legal risks, medical claims, and tort reform can influence stakeholders with respect to telemedicine. Consider the following guiding questions in your response:
- What are healthcare providers responsible for when caring for patients via telemedicine versus caring for them in person?
- How can medical professionals maintain patient confidentiality while caring for patients via telemedicine?
- How are underserved areas and vulnerable populations able to access telemedicine services?
- Differing Needs and Interests: Analyze how differing stakeholder needs and interests can impact decisions regarding telemedicine. Consider the following guiding questions in your response:
- What rights and needs do patients have when using telemedicine?
- What rights and needs do healthcare providers and medical professionals have when using telemedicine?
- What rights and needs do insurance providers have when using telemedicine?
- What other stakeholders’ needs should also be considered when using telemedicine?
- What is the impact of telemedicine on underserved areas and vulnerable populations?
- Technology Risks: Discuss the additional legal risks and liability issues technology can have in telemedicine. Consider the following guiding questions in your response:
- How does HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) apply to software developers and application managers who create and maintain the technology related to telemedicine?
- What measures are taken to ensure the confidentiality of patient information?
- How reliable is the technology related to telemedicine, particularly for those in underserved areas or members of vulnerable populations?
- Evaluation: Evaluate the impact that the identified legal risks and liability issues could have on stakeholders if your chosen telemedicine application is implemented. Consider the following guiding questions in your response:
- Do the legal risks and liability issues outweigh the benefits to stakeholders of using telemedicine?
- Are vulnerable populations and underserved areas able to benefit equitably from access to telemedicine services?
- What might healthcare providers need to do in order to minimize the amount of legal risk and liability while providing telemedicine services?
- Policy and Decision Making: Analyze how understanding legal risks and liability issues can impact overall health policy and decision making, both positively and negatively. Consider the following guiding questions in your response:
- How might vulnerable populations and underserved areas be affected as healthcare laws and policies are generally written?
- How might the legal risks and liabilities of telemedicine relate to other legal risks and liabilities with using other medical technologies?
- How might health policy and decision making be affected by not understanding the relevant legal risks and liabilities?