Falling ill is a part of life, even if you don’t fall sick, as age gradually increases, especially above 40 years of age, the human body naturally declines. If there were no sick people, the services of those intended to treat them would not be needed. This is why health professionals are important, especially in these modern times when diseases are evolving so rapidly. Among the health workers, doctors are the most sought after because they get more contact with those coming into hospitals, and are also responsible for conducting special medical procedures like surgeries. Clients who walk into health facilities are usually asked to speak to doctors, which is where they lay out all their complaints. After such meetings, if need be, other professionals will finish up the job that is left.
Usually, the first procedure that is done when meeting with a doctor is consultation. It involves releasing all necessary information about the condition the patient may be in, allowing the doctor to diagnose and proffer solutions. Earlier, there was no modern means of communication, seeing the doctor was always onsite whenever a client visits the clinic. Now, times have changed, many activities are becoming more technical than they used to be, the intention is to enhance efficiency, and speed of service. This change similarly occurred in the health sector, which has given rise to procedures like online consultation and prescribing to mention a few. Even though these patterns are seen to have advantages, there are still some demerits attached to them.
Online meetings with doctors are best known to save cost, no need to pay expensive fees to reach the hospital when you can do that on a call. In addition, it’s easier for doctors to reach their clients now; follow-ups are known to improve health outcomes. Clients now have more time to express their problems, since there’s no need to wait in long queues at the clinic. Emergencies have improved too, you can reach medics online to answer important questions in a few minutes. These are the benefits of online consultation, yet there are reasons why this method shouldn’t be jumped into just so soon.
A major concern in this subject is accuracy of response from the doctor, important information can be picked up in one-on-one meetings. Doctors are usually required to confirm the patient’s vital signs in diagnosis, parameters like blood pressure, sugar, weight, and height cannot be determined online. It’ll take more time explaining their steps as the doctor may not have that much luxury. Besides checking for vitals, physical examination procedures are also limited here, especially if the complaints have to do with presentations on the skin. It may require more experience from the doctor to effectively point out the right diagnosis to patients online, especially when it’s not a video call.
Equipment is another area of concern, since consultation is a process that has more visual requirements, some important equipment must be present to ensure its effective enough. Poor availability of these items will not promote proper consultation. For example, in a situation where there is network malfunctions, especially in addition to urgency, the process will be rendered inefficient, and this will be harmful to the client. Besides the spread of technology in developed countries, online consultation may not be effective in developing or under-developed countries. In those parts of the world, there is poor access to equipment that will allow them to reach out, and have no choice but to visit the clinic themselves.
There’s a need to confirm the authenticity of the doctor giving you medical advice. Online, people live different lives, some are not real, and can utilize people’s simplicity to make money. It would be harder to verify the qualifications of the person speaking, mediums like audio calls can make it much harder. Assuming everything needed for such consultation is available, you may be at the mercy of the network service providers. Poor networking would mean ‘no meetings’ for that period.
Consulting medics have developed alongside science, as newer patterns are introduced to make medical services more accessible to everyone. This comes with many advantages, but you cannot rule out the demerits too, like, poor physical assessment, poor network provision in some countries, poor validation of the doctor, and lack of suitable equipment to complement the process.