Post Date: March 16, 2016

Telemedicine is fast proving to be the mode of medical care that allows effective patient access to medical attention regardless of the mobility of an individual or the distance from the health facility. In Wisconsin, the rules that have been drafted to direct the procedural approach to telemedicine are sure to change the landscape in terms of how physicians relate to the patients and how the medical records and information collected is stored and secured.

Effect on Physicians relationship

The state of Wisconsin dictates that telephone calls and internet messages are not considered as procedures that constitute telemedicine. It further directs that interactive video and audio are to be integrated as well as detailed images for the process of telemedicine provision to be standard. A physician should first establish and verify the identity of an individual looking for medical attention while also notifying the patient of the certification, license status and overall qualifications. This ultimately means a change in the physician-patient relationship as there is a need for a more interactive and personalized approach that will yield detailed findings that will culminate in effective advice and prescriptions.

The telemedicine rules in Wisconsin will also focus on the licensed practice of the medical care providers and therefore limits the authorized individuals to be the physicians, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists and rural health centers. Physician assistants can only be authorized to offer telemedicine procedures if supervised by any of the qualified professionals.

Effect on patient medical records

The rules on provision of telemedicine in Wisconsin clearly outline the fact that medical records of patients should be kept confidential and access granted only to the patient or parties that a patient has consented to. The physicians attending to a patient through telemedicine will be subject to security protocols that will govern the processing, storage, retrieval and analysis of patient records. A patient has the right to receive and view their medical records upon request and the telemedicine practitioner should also have the capacity to deliver a copy of the records to the scheduled physician handling the patient.