Telemedicine and Confidentiality: The Texas Medical Association believes that all existing concepts regarding confidentiality of medical records should apply when physicians and patients utilize telemedicine (clinical services delivered via telecommunications technology). TMA supports efforts which ensure that patient confidences, and the privacy and security of patient information, are as well protected in accordance with applicable state and federal law when telemedicine is utilized as under traditional methods of in-person consultation and treatment. Such efforts should include:
(1) Patients should be advised as to the identity, location and qualifications of the physicians and other health care professionals who will be involved in telemedicine consultations;
(2) When telemedicine consults are to be recorded on electronic storage media, patients and physicians should be advised about the existence of such electronic storage media prior to the consultation;
(3) The patient and physician should be notified prior to the distribution of any reports or data generated as a result of the telemedicine consultation, in whatever form, reflecting identifiable patient information. Physicians and other health care providers should obtain appropriate consent and/or authorization from their patients prior to use or disclosure of protected health information;
(4) Release of confidential patient information should be restricted to those individuals or agencies with a bona fide use or right to the information. Release of patient information should be confined to the specific purpose for which the information is requested and authorized or otherwise permitted;
(5) When telemedicine services are utilized, the owner of any paper and electronic patient records generated as a result of the telemedicine consultation shall be regarded in the same fashion as the owner of any records generated as a result of a traditional in-person consultation and treatment (Board of Councilors, p 38, I-95; reaffirmed BOC Rep. 3-A-05; amended BOC Rep. 4-A-15).
Last Updated On
October 07, 2016