Dr. James Marcin, the study's lead author, told Pittman that comparing telemedicine to a phone consultation is "the difference between the doctor coming in to do an office visit with you with his or her eyes closed, versus with his or her eyes open."
Of the 234 patients studied, telemedicine was used in 73 cases, with doctors administering 146 drugs, five of which turned out to be wrong for the patient's condition or were given incorrectly, Pittman writes. Phone consultation was used in 85 cases, with 18 errors among the 167 drugs administered. No consultation was used for the remaining 76 patients, with 16 errors out of 128 drugs administered.
Dr. Alejandro J. Lopez-Magallon told Reuters: "The amount of information that you can gather in a telemedicine consultation is typically much richer than what you can gather from a telephone conversation. Also, the level of interaction with the remote care team widens because you're not talking with a single person on the other side - you can interact with the remote physician or physicians and nursing staff, support staff and the patient and family themselves." (Read more) To read the study click here.