The traditional view of face-to-face consultations as a means of accurate diagnosis and treatment has taken a back seat. A few years ago, having face-to-face interaction with the patients was perceived as the sole means of understanding the condition of the patient for an accurate diagnosis. This is no longer true as new advances in telemedicine have made it possible to achieve a high level of patient satisfaction and quality care delivery.
Research evidence speaks volumes about the potential of online consultation. Virtual appointments are increasingly accepted in the era after Covid-19 as most patients seem to have shifted their preferences to make their lives easier.
What are the pros and cons of an online consultation? How can patients achieve high-quality medical advice from an online consultation? Read more to find out.
What does Evidence Say about Virtual Consultations? Experts believe that delivering healthcare online has the potential to bring down costs and enhance the patient experience. A popular “Health Affairs” journal published a study where[aa1], researchers, after analyzing more than 4,000 cases, indicated that they were able to bring down the cost per episode of care by $88. Furthermore, 98% of the patients indicated that they would recommend the setup.
How Good are Online Consultations? While insights from data indicate that online consultations are quite effective, physicians and patients may have a certain degree of skepticism about telemedicine as a model for healthcare diagnosis:
- Face-to-face interaction is still preferred by physicians for an accurate diagnosis. Facial expressions may reflect the state of pain experienced by the patient.
- Patients may also prefer to see the physician to express their concerns effectively.
- Sometimes, physicians may be accustomed to nurses relaying information about the condition of the patient and may find it difficult to settle for an alternate arrangement.
- Physicians may sometimes raise concerns about the security and confidentiality of medical records exchanged over calls and online media.
On the other hand, online consultation also presents several advantages:
- The biggest benefit of an online consultation is the overall cost reduction for the patient (zero travel cost) and care delivery (lower insurance costs, reduction in ER visits that are not urgent).
- It also makes care more accessible and convenient for the patient. Patients who are bedridden or homebound or those who cannot take time off from work are more open to virtual consultations.
How Can you Obtain Best Results from an Online Consultation? Online consultation that is designed strategically to address the concerns of physicians and patients could be the answer to accessible care in the post-Covid-19 era. To make high-quality consultation services available at a low cost, professional organizations engage in best practices that help achieve reliable and feasible technology services for patients and physicians.
KareOptions provides the Medical Second Opinion Service (MSOS) for complicated and chronic conditions through convenient remote consultation. Our MSOS service helps patients receive the benefits of face-to-face consultations from the comfort of their homes at affordable costs. To find out more about MSOS and our unmatched portfolio of services, please visit www.kareoptions.com
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