Teleconsultations have become part of the new normal since the pandemic started. As staying at home became the most important safety measure, doctors and patients turned to the digital space to continue health check-ups and treatments.
Here at The Hospital at Maayo, we’ve observed more people making teleconsult appointments during the pandemic, the virtual check-ups covering a range of health issues. Our highly skilled medical personnel offer efficient and reliable online consultations, with the same high-quality care in typical, face-to-face appointments.
Given the downward trend in the number of coronavirus cases though and the easing of lockdown restrictions over the past month, you’re probably wondering if it’s still worth doing online consultations with your doctor. The short answer is yes.
While offering top-notch medical services in Cebu, we also advocate online consultations because of these reasons:
Why consider online consultation?
In a nutshell, online consultations offer the utmost convenience and promote safety amid the pandemic. After the health crisis, it’s likely to remain a helpful tool for patients for the following reasons:
1. You get necessary medical attention without the hassle.
Teleconsult appointments are health check-ups that are one click away. Since it only requires logging on to a video conferencing platform, you can do away with all the typical preparations for a hospital or clinic visit, including taking a bath and dressing up, traveling, filling up health declaration forms, waiting in queues, and more. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you’ll be able to consult a physician.
What’s more, you can schedule your online doctor consultation at your most convenient time, say, during your work break or before or after work. Put simply, in teleconsult appointments, you get the medical advice you need without the hassle.
At The Hospital at Maayo, online consultations can be done via mobile phone, tablet, or computer. It’s open from 8 AM to 5 PM. The hospital prioritizes providing easy access to such services, as it’s an important factor for patients choosing among online consultation solutions.
2. You save time and money.
Beyond the convenience, another thing that makes consulting doctors online beneficial for patients is the savings. Since you can do away with the travels, you get to save money on transportation.
The money you keep in your pocket can serve as extra funds for your medicines and future online consultations. At The Hospital at Maayo, the rate for teleconsult services starts at P350.
Aside from money savings, you get to save time, too. Remember, there’s no need to travel to the hospital and wait in queues. The time you save here can be spent on extended bonding activities with your loved ones or longer sleep and rest at home.
3. You can receive urgent care.
Some health concerns require immediate attention but are not life-threatening, including eye irritation, sinus symptoms, coughs, ear pain, rashes, diarrhea, migraine, and back pain. In these cases, the convenience of teleconsult appointments translates to the comfort of the patient. It’s difficult to travel with an upset stomach or a throbbing headache. Fortunately, with online consultations, you can stay put at home and still get the medical advice you need.
Do note however that there are urgent health concerns that require a physical visit to the doctor. These include chest pain, slurred speech, seizures, and asthma, among others. Call your local clinic or hospital to know if your condition is suitable for a teleconsult appointment.
4. You can consult even with mobility issues.
Most older folks and people with disabilities struggle to go to the doctor and keeping up with the appointments because of mobility issues. It’s a huge hassle to drive or take public transport. In some instances, it’s even dangerous, especially for those who go by themselves. Online doctor consultations are much more convenient and safer. With this option, you only need to visit the hospital when going for executive check-ups or treatments.
5. You easily secure a prescription.
A lot of people visit clinics and hospitals for the primary purpose of getting a prescription for an existing health condition. But often, patients aren’t able to take a break from their busy schedule to visit the clinic and see their doctor, which then results in going off medicines for a period of time.
The thing is, this can be easily addressed with telemedicine. Philippines-based health providers can issue e-prescriptions or electronic documents containing a patient’s medical prescription with the electronic signature of a licensed physician.
This can be in PDF, JPEG, or other file formats, sent via different channels, including email and messaging apps (Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp, etc.).
Online consultations remove the hassle of obtaining prescriptions from your physician and reduce the likelihood of discontinuing medications.
6. You can seek a second opinion without the hassle.
For critical health matters, second opinions are valuable. You get to know more about your condition, choose better treatment options, and prepare for the long-term effects of your decision. Yet, many refuse to seek second opinions partly because of the hassle it takes.
Travel alone to the hospital discourages people from seeking expert advice from another healthcare practitioner. In the end, they settle for their initial diagnosis and treatment plan, losing the opportunity to make a better, more well-informed health decision.
Even without stepping outside your home, you can get a second opinion. When you book online consultation services in The Hospital at Maayo, you can have the peace of mind that the doctors offering advice are competent and experienced.
We have over a hundred doctors specializing in various branches of medicine, from pulmonology and ophthalmology to infectious disease and internal medicine down to obstetrics and gynecology. You’ll easily find a doctor for your health concerns.
7. You understand your health better.
Because you’re not physically with your doctor, there are instances in the online consultation where you have to do the examination yourself. For example, you may be instructed to feel the lump in your stomach and describe it, or take your body temperature.
The doctor will then offer various explanations for different scenarios. Because you’re actively involved in the process, you get to know your body better. You’ll probably find yourself asking better questions about your health.
8. You can have a relative from overseas join you.
It’s common for people to have their loved ones with them during health check-ups. In the case of online consultations, you may have company present, but make sure to confirm with your doctor when you set your appointment. Even those from other parts of the country or the world can join the teleconsult.
More than the emotional support, your loved one may be able to provide more context to your family’s health history. This can help the online doctor in medical assessments.
9. You’ll be safe from catching diseases.
The reason teleconsult rose to popularity is the need to reduce close, physical contact with people as much as possible and curb the spread of the coronavirus. Even after the pandemic, online doctor consultations will still be the norm, especially for those people who need to lessen their exposure to the sick staying in clinics and hospitals. These include pregnant women, elderly folks, and patients who are chronically ill and immunocompromised.
What’s more, it’s hassle-free, convenient, and practical for consultations that may not need physical visits.
10. You don’t have to be a techie to consult online.
Many are intimidated by online consultation because it’s fairly a new technology in the Philippines. But the truth is, the process is simple you don’t have to be tech-savvy to make it happen. Think of it as simply talking to your loved ones on video chat or Zoom.
The process starts with booking the appointment. At The Hospital at Maayo, you can register at bit.ly/MaayoMD. Then, settle the consultation fee through digital channels, Paymaya, GCash, or BDO. After that, you simply have to log into your preferred online channel on your booked schedule and see the online doctor.
How to prepare for an online consultation
Similar to a face-to-face consultation, a virtual appointment requires preparation. You’ll be able to make the most of your time with the physician when you follow these steps:
Ensure that your internet connection is stable.
The last thing you want during your online checkup is choppy audio and a video feed that keeps freezing up. Find a spot in your home where the internet connection is the strongest. It’s also good to have a backup, say, mobile data or pocket WiFi in case your main connection source acts up.
Find a quiet, undisturbed spot.
While it’s important to go to a spot where the internet connection is strong, you must also consider privacy in choosing where to see your online doctor. You may discuss sensitive health information in the course of the consultation. The physician may also ask you to do some physical examinations, which you may not be comfortable doing while other people are looking on. The bottom line is, to find a private space in your home.
Have a tech test.
Check if your audio and video are working. If possible, call a loved one or friend and ask if you can be heard and seen clearly. While you’re at it, explore video settings. You may touch up your appearance using filters or change your background if ever you want to conceal the clutter in the room.
Write down your symptoms.
With this, you can easily raise them to the online doctor and also make sure that you don’t forget anything. As you take note of the symptoms, it’s also good to record when you first experienced them and how frequently they occur. Write down your health questions, too. Once you’re in the consultation already, jot down your doctor’s advice to avoid forgetting them.
Teleconsult appointments are here to stay even after the pandemic. In a nutshell, the reason you should consider online check-ups because they are:
- Convenient. You won’t have to travel long distances or wait hours to get the medical advice you need.
- Comfortable. You can jump into the virtual meeting at the comfort of your home, even while in your pajamas, at least from the waist down.
- Uncomplicated. You don’t have to be a tech master to consult a doctor online. It’s much like talking to friends and loved ones on video chat.
Ready to give online health check-ups a try? Schedule an appointment at The Hospital at Maayo today.