Online doctor consultation, also known as telemedicine, has become more popular than ever.
Although originally created to provide medical access for patients residing in remote places, teleconsultation is now benefiting almost everyone who needs convenient healthcare services. If you or anyone dear to you wishes to try virtual consultation with a physician, here is a quick guide for you.
Online check up not only gives everyone access to medical care but also lessens your risks of contracting the novel coronavirus.
Also, it lets you become more actively involved in your treatment plan. You don’t have to worry about the long travel hours and hospital queues to meet your doctor. With telemedicine, all you have to do is contact your doctor online and get checked at the comfort of your own home or office.
New in scheduling an online doctor appointment? Fret not. Here are several things you need to know in scheduling an online appointment with your doctor, including some reminders when speaking to them in order to get the best treatment plan.
1. Check with your insurance provider.
If you have health insurance, get in touch with your insurance provider first for their recommendations and to review your insurance plan coverage.
While your insurance organization may cover telemedicine, the overall coverage will still depend on your specific plan. For instance, some plans may include all the cost of online consultations while others may only cover a certain percentage of the cost.
Typically, the coverage and benefits of your insurance plan are posted on their website. However, if you want to be completely sure of its provisions and limitations before scheduling an online appointment, feel free to speak with their representative.
2. Check out the doctor you plan to consult with.
Know the specialization and the kind of service that your doctor offers.
This applies whether they were recommended by your health insurer or your own choice. Is the doctor you wish to consult with appropriate for your condition? Do they offer online teleconsultation? Know these things before you contact the doctor’s office.
Reviews about the doctor could also help in choosing a doctor to call. However, keep in mind that online reviews might not always be accurate.
Over 90% of patients do not post a review on their experience with the doctor; hence, physicians could have very few reviews online. Relying on this solely could be misleading.
If you can’t find the details that you need online or are unsure of what you’ve read on the internet, contact your doctor’s secretary or office to get accurate information.
3. Book an online appointment with your doctor.
Now that you have decided where or who to schedule an online consultation with, it is time to book an appointment. Make sure you’re indeed free on the day and time that you would book a schedule as anyone wouldn’t like the idea of you rescheduling. Some clinics may even charge you still for a missed appointment.
You also need to check out their mode of payment. Do you have to pay online first then ask your insurance company to reimburse the fee?
Meanwhile, it is also very important that you verify the legitimacy of the website where you disclose personal details such as your identity, insurance number, or bank account.
4. Be honest during teleconsultation.
Remember that you’re consulting with your physician so you can get better or maintain good health. Omitting facts during online doctor consultation means putting yourself at risk of getting misdiagnosed and receiving inaccurate treatment.
Dishonesty may also affect your relationship with your doctor and more importantly, it can result in ineffective medical care.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) states that dishonesty is unfortunately prevalent in the medical world. One of the most common reasons patients lie is their fear of being judged or lectured by their doctors.
Disclose to your doctor how you really feel, the lifestyle you have, your adherence to medication plans and all factors that you think are relevant to your health.
Don’t worry about being judged or lectured. Your doctor is there to diagnose you and to give you the right treatment not to look down on you.
Regarding privacy, you are protected by the law which governs doctor-patient confidentiality, thus, all the information that you would tell your doctor would be kept secret.
5. Be proactive and ask questions.
Don’t be shy to ask any questions or clarifications to your doctor. Your doctors might accidentally use medical words or phrases (e.g. aneurysm, infarction) that you don’t understand or they might give instructions (when is necessary in ‘take your medicine only when necessary’) that aren’t that clear for you. Feel free to ask them.
When you ask questions, you don’t just widen your knowledge about your health but you’re also getting more involved in your medication. The more you comprehend and learn, the better your health outcome would be.
6. Speak to your doctor with respect.
Doctors are busy people and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they get in the virtual consultation room a little bit late. On time or not, remember to talk to them with respect and understanding once they arrive.
There are also times that doctors tend to be strict especially when it comes to medication adherence and could be very demanding for requiring a lot of laboratory tests but you should understand that they are just doing their job.
Keep in mind that a doctor-patient relationship that is built on trust and respect results in a better treatment outcome and constitutes quality healthcare in general.
7. Don’t leave the virtual room unless the doctor confirms that the consultation is done.
No matter how much in a hurry you are, never leave the virtual consultation room unless told to do so. It would be disrespectful to your doctor if you leave without prior notice. Not only that, you might not get the full and accurate treatment if you intentionally disconnect.
If you get accidentally disconnected due to internet connectivity issues in the middle of the teleconsultation, immediately call or email your doctor about it. If they told you to reconnect and you have the means to do so, do it right away. If not, your doctor might reschedule your consultation or they might give further instructions to you through email or phone.
When looking for telemedicine services with human touch, EVA is your go-to clinic. EVA is a premier digital clinic that provides high-quality telemedicine services in the Philippines. Booking a consultation with us only takes three simple steps. Get in touch with us today.