This article provides an analysis of the skills that health professionals and patients employ in reaching diagnosis and decision-making in telemedicine consultations. As governmental priorities continue to emphasize patient involvement in the management of their disease, there is an increasing need to accurately capture the provider-patient interactions in clinical encounters. Drawing on conversation analysis of 10 video-mediated consultations in 3 National Health Service settings in England, this study examines the interaction between patients, General Practitioner (GPs), nurses, and consultants during diagnosis and decision-making, with the aim to identify the range of skills that participants use in the process and capture the interprofessional communication and patient involvement in the diagnosis and decision-making phases of telemedicine consultations. The analysis shows that teleconsultations enhance collaborative working among professionals and enable GPs and nurses to develop their skills and actively participate in diagnosis and decision-making by contributing primary care-specific knowledge to the consultation. However, interprofessional interaction may result in limited patient involvement in decision-making. The findings of this study can be used to inform training programs in telemedicine that focus on the development of effective skills for professionals and the provision of information to patients.
Keywords: conversation analysis; decision-making; eHealth; patient-centered care; telemedicine.
© The Author(s) 2018.