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AAOS Now: Patient Safety in the Era of Telemedicine: Recognizing Red Flags

Tue, February 09, 2021 10:01 AM | Babette Atkins (Administrator)

During these unprecedented times, a significant focus has been placed on implementation and integration of telemedicine within the traditional framework of in-person orthopaedic practice. Although the growth of telemedicine was expected previously, the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated its widespread implementation. Recent publications have focused on pre-visit technical considerations, including obtaining requisite equipment and fostering pathways for viewing imaging studies. There remains a dearth of orthopaedic literature reporting on the prevalence of adverse events encountered in the setting of virtual visits. This lack of information presents a patient safety concern that must be addressed before telemedicine is considered a mainstay of everyday practice.

Defining such red flags is essential for a successful telemedicine program, given that a major disadvantage of telemedicine is the limited physical exam. Although surrogate examination maneuvers have been described for the upper extremity (pushing oneself up from a chair) and lower extremity (hopping in place on the involved leg) to conform to the video format, they may not be specific enough for particular diagnoses. Conditions that can potentially be missed because of a lack of in-person interaction include: > Read article

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