An internet television program that explores the intersection of medicine and the law.

Informed Consent and Telemedicine

By Jonathan Terry, DO, ABIHM to Telemedicine


Informed Consent and Telemedicine

Our guest on Healthcare Matters is Jonathan Terry, DO, ABIHM. Dr. Terry is an osteopathic physician and surgeon and general psychiatrist who uses telemedicine extensively in his practice. Dr. Terry practices at the United Health Centers of San Joaquin Valley, which recently won the 2016 Health Delivery, Quality and Transformation Award from the American Telemedicine Association.In Part IV of our series, Physician Focus: Telemedicine, we ask Dr. Terry about the issue of informed consent in telemedicine.

This is only one of many questions we asked Dr. Terry about telemedicine. Check them all out here:

  1. Defining Telemedicine
  2. Ways the Affordable Care Act Affects Telemedicine
  3. Four Advantages of Telemedicine
  4. Informed Consent and Telemedicine
  5. Electronic Medical Records and Documentation in Telemedicine
  6. Legislative Challenges to Telemedicine
  7. Telemedicine Reimbursement Rates
  8. Physician Focus: Telemedicine


Mike Matray: One of the most important elements of ethical care is to get informed consent from your patient prior to beginning any course of treatment. Is it more difficult to achieve informed consent via telemedicine setting than a traditional office setting? If so how should a physician practicing telemedicine alter his or her approach to achieving informed consent?

Dr. Terry: You know Mike, informed consent is something we think a lot about with telemedicine. I think it’s easiest if we look at getting informed consent for telemedicine in a similar way that we’d look at it for any other procedure. What I mean by this is that there’s a precedent for having a separate consent form or an electronic form specifically off the rise in the use of telemedicine. Usually this form will outline the risks and benefits specifically of telemedicine, and specifically say that the patient has the right, of course, to decline telemedicine at any time. It’s also I think, a good idea as we’re using electronic methods to have some type of privacy policy stating specifically how’s this information going to be used, how will it be transmitted, maybe how will it be stored as well as any potential security breaches that might be inherent to the software or the transmission.