A topic debated since 2018 and which was intensified during the Covid-19 pandemic, the regulation of telemedicine was defined and published in the Official Journal of the Union (DOU) this Thursday, 5, by the Federal Council of Medicine (CFM). Under the new rules, the doctor will be able to decide whether the first consultation will be in person or online and patients with chronic diseases should go to the doctor’s office after a interval of up to 180 days to do the follow-up. The resolution is now in effect.
According to José Hiran Gallo, president of CFM, the method of care allowed, especially during the pandemic, assistance to inland cities and benefited capitals by reducing the burden of patients seeking treatment.
“The standard opens the door to comprehensiveness for millions of Brazilians who depend exclusively on the Unified Health System (SUS) and, at the same time, provides security, privacy, confidentiality and integrity of patient data,” Gallo said in a statement.
During consultations, data, images and patient records will be preserved, following the precepts of medical confidentiality. Virtual care must be consented to by the patient and reports issued must contain the physician’s identification, patient identification and data, date, time and physician’s signature with certification in a legally accepted standard.
According to the council, since 2018, almost two thousand proposals on the use of telemedicine have been analyzed by a special commission and the main medical entities have presented contributions to the resolution, such as the Brazilian Medical Association (AMB) and the National Federation of Physicians ( Fenam).
See rules of the new resolution on telemedicine:
Face-to-face consultation: the doctor has the autonomy to decide whether or not the first consultation can be face-to-face. The gold standard for medical consultations remains meeting in person and telemedicine is complementary
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Clinical follow-up: In the case of chronic diseases or diseases that require long-term care, face-to-face consultations must be carried out at intervals not exceeding 180 days.
Security and secrecy: the data and images of the patients, contained in the medical record, must be preserved, complying with the legal and CFM rules regarding custody, handling, integrity, veracity, confidentiality, privacy, irrefutability and guarantee of professional secrecy of the information
Consent Term: the patient or his legal representative must expressly authorize telemedicine care and the transmission of his images and data
Medical fees: the provision of telemedicine service, as a medical assistance method, in any modality, must follow the usual normative and ethical standards of face-to-face care, including in relation to financial consideration for the service provided
Territoriality: companies providing telemedicine services, communication platforms and data archiving must have their headquarters established in Brazilian territory and be registered in the CRM of the state where they are based, with the respective technical responsibility of a doctor regularly registered on the board
Oversight: CRMs will maintain surveillance, inspection and evaluation of telemedicine activities, in their territories, in relation to the quality of care, doctor-patient relationship and preservation of professional secrecy
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