|The Virtual doctor is in!|
This manuscript caught my eye as I was reviewing my medical journals, a review article on telemedicine and infectious diseases published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
I have been providing telemedicine care for over 10 years to HIV positive patients in the Virginia Department of Corrections. The article summarizes many of my personal observations over the years. For chronic medical conditions such as HIV, telemedicine is a successful mechanism of consultation. It provides specialty access, is expedient and can be easily coordinated. For complicated inpatient and outpatient consults that require a proper physical examination, telemedicine is limited. Of note, there are no publications definitively proving that telemedicine is cost effective.
Here is an article that featured VCU Telemedicine in Broadband Communities Magazine.
One last point, from an infection prevention standpoint, telemedicine must certainly have an advantage: there is no provider-patient physical contact making cross-transmission most unlikely.