The technological revolution has changed the way that we work, communicate, and live our lives. Our healthcare approach is no exception; more doctors and patients are embracing the versatility and accessibility of telemedicine than ever before. The only requirement is an internet connection.
What is an online doctor?
An online doctor is a practitioner who consults with patients through the use of the Internet, phone, or video. The benefits of using an online doctor are plentiful, echoed by the rapid rise in demand for telehealth services.
Who uses telemedicine?
Today, more than two hundred telemedicine networks are spanning 3,500 service websites in the United States alone. More than half of U.S. hospitals have incorporated some form of telemedicine into their business. Telemedicine has also proven useful in the fight against the coronavirus. In March alone, telehealth visits rose by 50% as the coronavirus pandemic spurred social distancing measures. Analysts are expecting that by the end of 2020, there will have been 200 million online general medical care visits.
Some doctors treating COVID-19 patients use telemedicine to communicate virtually with patients who are in isolation. Major city hospitals in Chicago, Cleveland, and Washington, D.C., implemented telemedicine for remote patient screening. This effort helped keep down emergency room visits to only those who need it. But there are many more ways in which telemedicine benefits both the doctor and the patient. Let’s take a look at some of the critical advantages of virtual doctor’s visits:
A consultation with an online doctor is a budget-friendly way to receive the care and prescriptions you need. Research shows that most common ailments can be solved in a single visit, which telemedicine can provide for a fraction of the cost of an in-person visit. Many health insurance providers are on board with the trend, with recent expansions of coverage and waiving cost-sharing associated with virtual visits. Large employers almost uniformly offer telehealth services as a component of employee health insurance coverage.
Better health outcomes
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHR) has found that telehealth improves the quality of healthcare, particularly in rural areas, and for the diversion of unnecessary emergency room visits. The patient also has an easier time receiving treatment, as they do not need to travel long distances.
Expanded access to healthcare
The lowered financial barrier and lack of a physical barrier make telemedicine an extremely accessible tool. The only need is an internet connection. Telemedicine reaches millions who previously had many more hurdles to overcome to get quality healthcare. Patients outside of typical care systems and networks also greatly benefit from having this option, offering a cost transparent option that saves a large bill or an insurance coverage dispute.
As Americans try to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, a trip to the doctor’s office can be considered risky. Some patients may not want to see a doctor in-person for that reason, and it is also safer for the physician to assess patients virtually.
Flexible scheduling and physician availability
Telemedicine allows for visitation outside of regular office hours. Additionally, it allows patients to connect with doctors in different time zones, meaning that quality care is available 24/7. With traditional doctor’s visits, there is often a waitlist that can be as long as two weeks, a month, or even more.
Save a trip
An online doctor’s visit doesn’t require a trip to the healthcare facility, which saves time and money. This allows you to get a doctor’s opinion from the comfort of your home or any other preferred space. In the case of an extremely bothersome health problem, not having to move and drive physically can save a patient a painful hassle.
Minimal waiting times
Virtual doctor visits don’t keep you sitting in a waiting room for an unknown amount of time. All it takes is a few minutes to get connected to your doctor at the agreed-upon time. Without the busy dynamic of a doctor’s office, the physician’s focus will be sharper.
Enhanced patient-doctor interactions
With the absence of waiting times and frustrating commutes, doctors have more time to spend with patients. Instead of feeling like the doctor is rushing to see the next patient in the waiting room, virtual consultations are a much less stressful experience that allows for higher quality care.
No need to take off time from work
A visit to a physician’s office almost always overlaps with a regular workday. Most people have to plan their visits carefully, requesting approval from their employer in a timely manner. Considering that virtual appointments can be made at any time, a doctor’s visit fits into the patient’s schedule, no matter how unconventional.
Access to Specialists
Access to specialty healthcare is often quite limited in rural areas. It is hard to incentivize physicians with specialties to rural municipalities because of the small market, which is arguably an unsustainable business model. As a result of a lack of nearby dermatology, ophthalmology, psychiatry, psychology, and audiology professionals, some people in rural communities never receive treatment for their conditions. Telehealth is a solution to this dilemma. Unsurprisingly, the use of these services is spiking in popularity in rural areas. Following an Executive Order from the White House Medicare offerings have recently expanded to include telehealth services for Medical providers in rural areas.
Find an online doctor today
WebDoctors.com offers three consultation levels, including Routine, VIP, and Video consultation packages. Our system will prompt you to disclose your relevant medical history after simply filling out a registration form. WebDoctors.com lets you send your prescription to your pharmacy of choice, and we have partnered with a handful of preferred pharmacies. Your treatment decision is made by WebDoctors.com board of certified primary care physicians. We treat common medical ailments, including sinus infections, colds, coughs, UTIs, Bronchitis allergies, skin rashes, and more. Once your treatment decision has been made, your prescription is sent to your preferred pharmacy. It is as simple as that.