The AVMA House of Delegates recently voted to implement a new policy regarding telemedicine. When using telemedicine tools, the veterinarian must have an established veterinarian–client–patient relationship (VCPR). Clients should be aware of the advice giver’s identity, location, licensure status, and potential privacy and security issues with electronic communications.
Source: Veterinary Team Brief, November/December 2017.
Definitions for the AVMA definitions of telehealth and telemedicine will help provide a framework for telemedicine discussions:
- Telehealth is the overarching term that encompasses all uses of technology geared to the remote delivery of health information or education.
- Telemedicine is a subcategory of telehealth in which technology is used to exchange medical information about a patient’s clinical health status from one site to another.
INSIGHTS: Use this article with team members to establish how the practice will approach telemedicine, who is to be involved and review the various implications. Action notes include:
- Be familiar with the definition of VCPR in the state where you practice.
- Document any telemedicine services in the medical record in the same manner as traditional professional services.
- Do not be afraid to add telemedicine services to your practice to improve patient care and bond clients to your practice.
- Be familiar with your state’s legal telemedicine requirements.