Legal Perspectives on Telemedicine Part 2: Telemedicine in the Intensive Care Unit and Medicolegal Risk

Perm J. 2019;23:18-294. doi: 10.7812/TPP/18.294. Epub 2019 Aug 29.


Tele-intensive care unit (tele-ICU) implementation has been shown to improve clinical and financial outcomes. The expansion of this new care delivery model has outpaced the development of its accompanying regulatory framework. In the first part of this commentary we discussed legal and regulatory issues of telemedicine in general and expanded on tele-ICU implementation in particular. Major legal and regulatory barriers to expansion remain, including uncertainty regarding license portability and reimbursement. In this second part we discuss the effects of telemedicine implementation on the various aspects of medicolegal risk and risk mitigation, with a particular focus on tele-ICU. There is a paucity of legal data regarding the effect of tele-ICU implementation on medicolegal risk. We will therefore systematically discuss the effects of tele-ICU on the various root causes of medical error. Given the substantial capital and operational investment that must be undertaken to build and run a tele-ICU, any reduction in risk adds to the financial return on investment and further decreases barriers to implementation.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Liability, Legal*
  • Medical Errors / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Telemedicine / legislation & jurisprudence*