Changes in professional practices as a result
of medical teleconsultations
Interprofessional cooperation and the delegation of tasks
Based on observations of teleconsultations conducted between a university hospital and a geriatric hospital, this analysis shows the effect of the use of telepresence technology on doctor/patient relations and relations between practitioners, on the organisation of healthcare, as well as on professional practices and knowledge. Use of this technology requires learning and adaptation, and is accompanied by new kinds of cooperation that result, in particular, in the pooling and dissemination of clinical and medical knowledge. Task accomplishment inherent in making a remote diagnosis rests on the delegation of some of the activities that are normally carried out by specialists to geriatricians and paramedic staff at a patient’s side. While interprofessional cooperation contributes to the emergence of new forms of communication and to the creation of new work groupings, it also implies a loss of some autonomy for each type of professional involved.