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Documentation

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As medical providers, one of the most essential practices that should always remain is proper documentation. Documentation becomes even more crucial in acute telemedicine and for all providers involved, from the ED to the on-screen provider. Consult documentation must include everything from information known about the patient to a detailed explanation of decision making. If applicable, the documentation should also indicate that the patient understood the information provided during the consent process before receiving any telemedicine services. 

One of the most common uses of acute telemedicine today is also the clearest example of the above considerations in practice—the management of stroke care and the administration of the Tissue Plasminogen Activator, or TPA. This entails open communication and team decision-making between all providers involved, the patient, and the patient’s family. And, as with most life-or-death medical scenarios, it also involves risk. By practicing good medicine, open communication, collaboration, and, of course, proper documentation, hospitals and telemedicine providers can work together to improve outcomes while minimizing risk.