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The transfer and use of medical information via electronic communications media. Such media include telephones, fax machines, interactive video, e-mail, and instant electronic monitoring. Offering healthcare services with the assistance of electronic media offers a number of advantages including: providing specialty care to underserved rural and urban populations, alleviating transportation hardships and costs, and new possibilities for continuing education. However, there are potential drawbacks and liabilities, including: determining which set of professional standards apply when treatment/diagnosis is conducted from multiple locations, privacy issues, and questions concerning establishment of a professional relationship. (E.g., does a remote, electronic encounter establish one?)

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