Study suggests that teledermatology programs are not an alternative to in-person evaluation

Programs that deliver specialty care to underserved areas utilizing telemedicine are being launched all over the world. However a recent study published in the British Journal of Dermatolgy raises some questions about the limitations of this technology, particularly some unintended consequences that appear to have adverse patient outcomes. The study looked at a series of […]

Evidence based decision making taken to a new level by the BMJ

By: Tom Lewis As the cost of healthcare continues to grow at unsustainable rates, there has been an increasing emphasis on ensuring that the care being delivered by individual clinicians is evidence-based. From optimal medical management of heart failure patients to appropriate cancer screening regimens, its important that clinicians know that the recommendations they make […]

SmartHeart turns your smartphone into a personal ECG

SHL Telemedicine has announced the release of SmartHeart, a lightweight and portable device that they claim can take “hospital-grade” ECGs by “anyone, anywhere, anytime.” The device connects wirelessly to smartphones and can transmit the ECG to a physician for a preliminary diagnosis. The possibilities for a device like this are endless – but so are […]

Physicians should cautiously navigate exciting waters of social media and medicine

By: Darwin Wan, MS3   A stern warning regarding social media usage has been delivered to the medical community in April with news of Dr. Alexandra Thran’s reprimanding by Rhode Island’s state medical board.  Dr. Thran had already been fired last year from Westerly Hospital in Rhode Island for the posting of confidential patient information […]

Physical Exam Essentials aims to improve students practical skills

By: Tom Lewis, MSII As Sir William Osler, one of the fathers of modern American medicine, said, “The primary work of a professor of medicine in a medical school is in the wards, teaching his pupils how to deal with patients and their diseases.” And the most important component of interacting with patients to clinicians […]

JAMA study finds remote monitoring in e-ICUs reduced mortality

A study published last week by the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that patients in the ICU of UMass Memorial Medical Center had significantly reduced mortality rate (8.6% as compared to 10.7%) when they were monitored by a remote “eICU.” While there have been many studies conducted on eICUs previously, this is the first one to show a significant improvement in patient outcome.

For physicians, does using a smartphone increase your exposure to malpractice claims?



Dr. McMenamin, who was a practicing emergency physician before turning his sights to the practice of law discusses when a physician-patient relationship is considered to form. 

A good rule is that a general discussion of a topic, even if erroneous, is unlikely to be actionable. The more the discussion is patient-specific, however, the greater the likelihood that a relationship will be deemed to exist, and so the greater the likelihood that a duty will be found. 

Based on the telephone cases, if the doctor knows the patient’s name, or has access to his old records, or has examined the patient, or is paid a fee, the probability increases that a duty will arise.