The need to make medical care more accessible and convenient has brought about many recent changes for both patients and their medical care providers. One of the most promising of which is the ability seek medical care from a remote location by using the internet and modern digital technology. For those seeking this type of medical care for the first time, however, the unfamiliarity of the process can be problematic. If you are interested in adding online doctor appointments to your family's regimen of healthcare, the following information will help you make both your first and future experiences as productive and successful as possible.
Online doctor visits are suitable for many medical care situations
While emergency health situations, especially those involve an injury, are obviously not suited for an online visit, there are many routine health care needs that do work well with online health care. Some examples of these include:
- routine illness diagnosis and treatment, such as those related to colds, influenza, and viruses
- routine followups after in-person treatment or care
- routine appointments necessary for prescription medication refills
- non-life threatening medical conditions, including rashes, bladder infections, fever, etc.
Choosing to use online medical care for routine consultations, care, and followups can help keep your family healthier because it keeps them from being exposed to potentially contagious illnesses in waiting rooms and public spaces.
Appointments use smart phone or tablet technology
Once you have scheduled an online doctor appointment for a specific time and the doctor has reviewed your medical records and information, the consultation will take place. While this can be done solely by phone if necessary, most online medical care providers prefer to use video chat technology or a combination of images from a tablet or smartphone, along with a telephone conversation to conduct the consultation.
Using a combination of visual images and dialogue allows an online medical care provider to provide much the same experience and degree of care as is found during and in-person consultation.
Medications can be prescribed or managed
Although a few states do not yet allow doctors to prescribe medications remotely, most do. Once the online consultation is completed, the doctor will update your digital medical records and prescribe any medications needed. Prescriptions are then transferred electronically to the pharmacy of your choice where you can pick them up at a time convenient for you.
When you or a family member requires non-emergency medical care, making an appointment with an online doctor can be a convenient, cost-effective option.