People love to be loyal to their GP when they trust in their expertise and experience.
The same can now be said for an online doctor as men and women gravitate to digital services to be looked after.
There is no doubt that many patients, particularly the elderly, will have reservations about this process and prefer the familiarity of the in-person appointment.
However, there is no question that a major transition in our healthcare system is taking place as operators and practices are finding more efficient mechanisms of caring for community members.
We will offer an explanation for this very shift and help to outline the benefits of this new system for constituents.
Great Patient Convenience
The greatest selling point to the use of an online doctor service is the convenience of never having to leave home. With the benefit of zero contact expertise in the wake of the coronavirus spread, it is advantageous to connect with a specialist in the luxury of the home. This becomes all the more enticing with a breakdown of those regular 9am-5pm Monday to Friday business hours, opening up more possibilities to contact a trusted GP without having to adhere to these strict deadlines.
Ease of The Setup
In 2020 there is almost no one who could not take advantage of an online doctor. Whether they are elderly or young, based in an urban or rural setting, or if they have significant or modest wealth, these services are available to all citizens. Before the rollout of the NBN this would have been a tricky exercise, but thanks to wide accessibility to mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktops, it has never been easier to leverage this expertise. The only features that have to be included to use the service is an Internet connection and an operating camera and microphone.
With lower operational overheads, the online doctor service happens to be more affordable than attending appointments in person. Given that this is a relatively new phenomenon there will likely be fluctuations in this domain, especially without a uniform financial policy from one practice to the next. However, for those that want to remove transport costs and higher fees for seeing their doctor offline, this is a great way of looking after the bottom line for the medical professionals and the patients alike.
Patient Information Protected
The inclusion of cloud-based technologies works to protect sensitive information that is transferred and stored through an online doctor. This could be considered one of the potential downsides with the involvement of hackers. The good news is that these operators work through protected networks that are not vulnerable to these types of attacks.
Simple Distribution of Medical Information
For those who book an appoint with their online doctor, they will likely require a medical certificate for work or a script for their ongoing medication needs. The good news about working with these digital outlets is that these certificates and forms can be easily sent in real time to the individual without any delays or backlogs. The same can be said for booking additional appointments or placing a referral with a specialist, whether that includes a pathology test or x-ray.
When taking all of these benefits into account, it is easy to explain how a transition to the online doctor is occurring for patients. There is no substitute for genuine in-person care when those moments arise, but undertaking many of the logistical tasks and simply conferring between people can be overseen with the aid of digital technologies. This helps to break down barriers to access and build stronger connections between the professional and their constituents.