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J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2005 Winter;25(1):34-42.

Telemedicine for access to quality care on medical practice and continuing medical education in a global arena.

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Department of Surgery, Medical Informatics and Technology Applications Consortium, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical School, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.


Health care practices continue to evolve with technological advances integrating computer applications and patient information management into telemedicine systems. Telemedicine can be broadly defined as the use of information technology to provide patient care and share clinical information from one geographic location to another. Telemedicine can lower costs and increase access to health care, especially for those who live in remote or underserved areas. The mechanism of telemedicine raises some difficult legal and regulatory issues as well since technology provides remote diagnosis and treatment across state lines resulting in unclear definitions for liability coverage. Physician licensing becomes an issue because telemedicine facilitates consultations without respect to state or national borders. With the increased access to current information and resources, continuing medical education becomes more feasible with synchronous or asynchronous access to educational content. The challenge in implementation of these unique educational tools is the inclusion for standards of practice and appropriate regulatory mechanisms to cover the audiences.

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