The onset of the 20th century saw many scientific developments. By the time the world reached the 21st century, technology was booming. Technology has reshaped the world with many new benefits.
The world is at our fingertips for medical advancements.
When we talk about the medical field, we are also reminded of the advancements regarding consultation. Online booking of slots, online consultation, online report verification, etc. has now become a trend.
- What are online medical consultations? What are office visits? Advantages and disadvantages of both.
- How can you proceed with the online medical consultations?
What is an online medical consultation?
Online medical consultation, or telemedicine, is the process of consulting a doctor online, via the internet, or telephone, without physical appearance. This practice emerged in the early 2000s when doctors started practicing online.
There are several procedures for payment. Recently, payment techniques have become even easier and hassle-free with the advent of different money transferring apps in the market.
What is the office visit?
An office visit, also known as the doctor’s visit or physician’s visit, is the practice of a doctor visiting a patient, or a patient visiting a doctor, physically. This is a very familiar practice that has been happening for decades.
In an office visit, a patient can be examined physically by a doctor with the help of equipment like the stethoscope, sphygmomanometer (used for measuring blood pressure), etc.
Should you go to an office, or visit an online consultation?
Well, both have their own benefits. You may need an online consultation if you lack time because during an office visit you might have a longer wait time. You can go to telemedicine facilities if you are suffering from chronic illnesses like diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, etc.
Patients who are about to consult a doctor for a new issue must go for an office visit, as the initial physical examination must be done for proper diagnosis. These all are relative explanations and it depends upon a patient, which option to choose for.
Advantages of telemedicine or online consultation
Making service hassle-free: Provides wide opportunities for doctors to practice outside their geographic area, which makes the service easier and convenient. proved benefits for patients to access their doctors anytime and anywhere, saving a lot of time.
Cost-effectiveness & time-saving: Telemedicine is cost-effective, saving a lot of money and making it economical. Patients can consult a doctor at a cheaper price with online consultation, as it cuts travel expenses and visiting charges. A recent study has found that an office visit costs a patient $43 on average. The cost of telemedicine service can be as cheap as $20 on average.
Face to face interaction: The term telemedicine means a telephonic call, but can also be video calls with your doctor. You can very well interact with your doctor face to face.
For patients with chronic illness: Some patients need constant medical attention, as in the case of patients having a chronic illness. You may need to visit a doctor every 3-6 months and you might find the doctor advising you to take the same set of medicines. In such cases, time becomes a crucial factor. These can be sorted out by online consultation, where the doctor might check your blood reports, scans, etc, and. ask about your general health and advise you to go with the same or make little changes.
Get your prescription: Some patients also require regular medications and a prescription is a must. Take an example of a simple sleeping pill, patients with severe heart conditions, high blood pressure, or any such severe conditions, doctors always put a tranquilizer in the prescription. Strict medical laws forced pharmacists to sell medicines only after validating a prescription from a doctor.
Minimal risk of infection: Keeping in mind the present COVID situation, online consultation with the doctor is much safer, as it will reduce the risk from contact with the doctor or other patients if you go for an office visit.
Advantages of office visit over online consultation
Physical examination: If you opt for an office visit, your doctor will have the opportunity of examining you and your health conditions physically. For some physicians, a virtual appointment may not seem enough to diagnose a patient. It is also not suited for patients who are first-time visitors.
Technology, equipment & cost: While some geographical areas and sections of the society may find telemedicine beneficial, rural areas may lack the technology needed. Some people are not technologically equipped, and it can become very difficult for an online medical consultation. In such cases, an office visit proves much more beneficial. Doctors can bill office visits / online consultations using the CPT code 99243/99244.
Thus, office visits and online consultations both can prove to be beneficial depending on the situation. The current scenario that has gripped us with the COVID-19 crisis has forced us to remain indoors and have minimum physical contact with people.
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ZeaMed provides a wide variety of doctors who are up for telephonic or video conversations anytime and anywhere along with highly economical charges which would suit every patient.
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