x Certified Examination Assistants in the Age of Telemedicine: A Blueprint Through Neurology - Human insight

Certified Examination Assistants in the Age of Telemedicine: A Blueprint Through Neurology


HumanInsight Certified Examination Assistants in the Age of Telemedicine: A Blueprint Through Neurology

JMIR Med Educ. 2021 Oct 6;7(4):e28335. doi: 10.2196/28335.

ABSTRACT

The optimal approach to a clinical physical examination via telemedicine is still being explored. The medical community has no standardized or widely followed criteria for telemedicine examinations, so a broad spectrum of approaches is used. Unfortunately, the need for telemedicine is outpacing physical examination validation research. Given that certain specialties have been using telemedicine longer than others, lessons from those specialties might aid in developing standardized protocols for telemedicine. Neurology has been at the forefront of telemedicine use, initially through stroke care and later in multiple subspecialties. We present a framework for optimizing the history taking and physical examination process via telemedicine based on our experience in neurology. This mainly includes remotely examining a patient unassisted or with an untrained assistant present on the patient side of the connection. We also discuss the need for trained, certified assistants to assist the off-site physician in history taking and physical examination. These certified assistants would be allied health professionals who perform high-quality cued patient examinations under direct physician supervision with no responsibility to diagnose or treat. This contrasts with the approach seen in advanced practice providers such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners who undergo years of training to diagnose and treat patients under supervision. This training process would serve as a stepping stone for the development of dedicated certification programs for neurology and other medical specialties; however, assessments of practical training, costs, implementation, and longitudinal quality are warranted.

PMID:34612828 | DOI:10.2196/28335

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