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Note: The Telemedicine Practice Guidelines is an integral part of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002, popularly known as the Code of Medical Ethics. Hence, the principles enunciated therein are ipso facto applicable to the practice of Telemedicine. FAQs are indicative only , not exhaustive.
Foremost, you have to decide the appropriateness of tele-medicine consult and its mode for a given scenario, as specified in the guidelines. You will have to record all tele-consultations and would be responsible for all consultations provided by telemedicine.
Broadly, the following are the services your group could provide:
. Health education
.Guide patients for an appropriate in-patient consult. If it’s a follow-up consult for a patient whom you have seen, can prescribe for medications for optimizing that particular medical condition to the patient or care-giver
. If it’s a new clinical condition which can be reasonably diagnosed on a video-call (such as Dermatological lesions etc), then you can prescribe medications to the patient or care-giver
. If you are a group of specialists, then, can advise other RMPs appropriately . If you have a Health Worker on the field with the patient, then you can prescribe medications based on the Health Workers’ inputsprovided these are as per norms of the guidelines.
. In case of emergency clinical conditions, provide advice for immediate relief, first-aid and guide/ facilitate appropriately for an immediate in-patient consult.
Video consultation give an added advantage of visual perception (provided it is of reasonable good quality) which is crucial for many clinical conditions. For instance, a RMP can take suitable teleconsultation pathways for conditions such as:
. Pallor and Koilonychia: Prescribe Iron tablets on first-consultation and advice further investigations
. Jaundice/ Cyanosis: Advice for urgent referral for in-patient consultation
. Trauma: Can assist in Tele-triaging through a Health Worker
. Respiratory distress: Assess work of breathing and advice another RMP/ Health Worker for appropriate intervention
. Rheumatic conditions: Can assess range of motion of joints through a health worker and can modify medications during a follow-up consultation
.Tele-radiology, Tele-ophthalmology, Tele-pathology can be leveraged for discussion between two RMPs.