Education and Training for Ethical Practice of Telemedicine for Registered Medical Practitioners in India
Keywords:Telemedicine education, Telemedicine Practice Guidelines, tele-triage, cross-border consultation, medical ethics
The Telemedicine Practice Guidelines (TPG) released in 2020 provide legal framework for registered medical practitioners (RMPs) to consult with patients deploying Information and Communication Technology. Necessary compliance requirements have also been included. This article analyses the effectiveness of the ‘Train to Practice’ course designed by the Telemedicine Society of India to train doctors in India to follow ethical and safe standards of practice of telemedicine. The online course was taught by a faculty of 18 members, over a period of 6 months using four modules.
The course comprised of a pre-course assessment, live lectures, and a post-course assessment to ascertain the level of preparedness and knowledge imparted to the RMPs by way of the course. The article highlights that the RMPs had a preliminary understanding of the concept of telemedicine prior to the course. Post-course assessment indicated improvement in knowledge levels. Pre- and post-course assessments were conducted using multiple choice Yes or No response-based questionnaires.
Participating RMPs exhibited a real drive to understand the legalities and operational procedures of the practice of telemedicine as was evidenced by queries posed to the lecturers. While the course was rated generously by all the attendee RMPs, there were also evidences of a lack of seriousness from certain RMPs who did not have to pay for participating in the course. The researchers have also suggested that the presence of a TPG qualification paper online and the swift introduction of TPG aligned courses in medical schools would streamline implementation challenges in the future. The researchers have also recommended the amendment of the TPG and the Medical Council of India (MCI) Code of Ethics Regulations, 2002, to provide better protection to RMPs from possible litigation occurring during telemedicine practice.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Sunil Shroff, Bagmisikha Puhan, Lavanian Dorairaj, Mayank Agarwal, Manick Rajendran, Ravi Modali, Suchitra Mankar, Permachanahalli Sachidananda Ramkumar, Sandeep Patil
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