How To: Find Doctors on Call
You may have heard of “house call doctors,” which are doctors that physically visit a patient or client in the comfort of their own home. You may have also heard about doctors on call at hospitals or emergency rooms. “On call” refers to a medical professional who is on duty and ready to respond to a medical situation at any given moment.
Telemedicine has made huge innovations in the healthcare industry and has made it possible for everybody to access doctors on call via their personal devices, which means that you don’t have to actually see a doctor in person. Telehealth used to be an expensive service or one reserved for the elderly and those living in rural areas, but it is now available for anybody to access.
What Is Telemedicine? What Are Virtual Doctors?
The term “telemedicine” is used interchangeably with “telehealth.” Both terms refer to the usage of technology to enable remote healthcare services, making it possible for patients to receive treatment from real, licensed doctors through their computer, phone, or tablet. Telehealth is the broader term for remote healthcare services because it also includes remote non-clinical services, such as health education or informational sessions, to teach patients how to use medical devices at home.
The medical professionals that work for telehealth services are real-life doctors, and many of them have years of experience working physically in urgent care, doctor’s offices, or hospitals. The only difference between an online doctor and an in-person doctor is that a virtual doctor cannot see you physically, meaning that they cannot perform a comprehensive physical evaluation. This is why telemedicine appointments are ideal for non-emergencies and minor conditions. Because of the online and remote nature of the platform, there are certain telehealth providers that are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. For the times when something goes wrong in the middle of the night, or on a holiday, it is much more likely that there will be virtual doctors on call than one available locally. Not every telehealth provider is open 24/7, however, which means that they will not necessarily have doctors on call at all hours.
What Are the Benefits of Virtual Doctors on Call?
There are a multitude of benefits to speaking with doctors online. While virtual doctors are not meant to replace your primary care physician, nor are they appropriate in emergency or life-threatening scenarios, virtual doctors do offer a sense of privacy and convenience as compared to in-person doctor consultations. Most telehealth providers have tens or hundreds of doctors on call, ready for immediate and last-minute consultations with patients and their loved ones. Especially if your doctor’s office typically has a crowded schedule that doesn’t work with your calendar, online doctors are available on weekends, late at night, or when there’s a blizzard outside, and you don’t want to leave. And because you can do it from wherever you want, this adds a sense of privacy, so there’s no more waiting in crowded rooms with nosy people.
Virtual doctors offer a variety of services, which means they are a widely beneficial healthcare option. Telemedicine can be used to diagnose and treat common or minor medical problems, such as nausea, sore throats, colds, flu, allergies, and other similar conditions. They can also provide post-surgery check-ins and follow-ups for managing chronic conditions so that patients don’t have to make consistent appointments. Depending on the telehealth provider, a virtual doctor may be able to refill or write new medical prescriptions from the comfort of your own home. Virtual doctors can even assist with home treatments or educational appointments.
How to Find a Doctor on Call?
After you decide on and choose a telehealth service, it is easy and fast to find a doctor on call and available to assist you with your medical concerns and conditions. Traditionally, you will be required to create an online account through either the website or mobile application. You will likely be asked to submit personal information to the service when signing up and scheduling an appointment, including your symptoms, your basic contact information, and your medical history.
Then, the telehealth provider will bring you to a screen where you can choose which doctor you would like to see and what time you would like to schedule a consultation that works well with your own plans. After you schedule an appointment, the telehealth platform will provide instructions for how to connect directly with a real doctor, whether that be through a phone call or video conferencing software. They may send you an email or text message with a detailed guide or a link to access their secure platform.
Once it is time for your appointment, you should click on the link or go to the app on your smartphone or tablet to access the HIPAA-compliant software, ensuring that your visit is private and secure and that the details discussed remain between you and the doctor. You will be connected live and will be able to see or hear a real medical professional on the other end of the call. During the appointment, the doctor will review your symptoms, your current medications, and your medical history to determine an accurate diagnosis. It may be useful to have medical tools nearby, such as a thermometer and a scale, so you can give the doctor an idea of your basic health statistics. You should always answer their questions honestly and in depth so that they have a full picture of your health. The doctor will then suggest an effective treatment plan for your diagnosis. If necessary and possible, the doctor will write a prescription for you to either pick up at a local pharmacy or have delivered directly to your door, depending on your preference and on what the telehealth provider’s services offer.
After your appointment, all of the details and the prescription will be saved to a portal on the website. This information is private and can only be seen by you and your virtual doctor. You may have the option to share the details of your consultation with your primary care provider, but it is not always necessary. It’s as easy as that to find an available doctor!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is telemedicine safe?
Absolutely! The doctors that you might talk to online are real people who are equally qualified as the doctors that work in offices. In fact, many of them have been specifically certified in providing remote healthcare services, so they are more than prepared to review and diagnose your symptoms remotely.
Is a virtual doctor consultation secure?
Yes, as long as you are using a trustworthy telehealth service. Most telehealth providers utilize a secure platform and HIPAA-compliant video conferencing software in order to protect your privacy and your medical information, and they will background check each and every one of their doctors to ensure that patients receive the highest quality of care. Unfortunately, there are telehealth websites that are scams and will take your money without ever allowing you to see a real doctor. Always check past patient reviews and certifications to ensure that you are using a real and trusted service.
How expensive is a virtual doctor?
The cost of a virtual doctor consultation will vary depending on your insurance coverage plan and which telehealth provider you have an account with or sign up for, as well as the reason you made an appointment. For example, appointments with a counselor about mental health concerns will probably take longer and be more expensive than those about allergies or the cold and flu. Not every telehealth provider accepts insurance; in fact, some don’t accept any insurance coverage. Always double-check with your insurance provider and telehealth platform to determine exactly what your financial obligation might be.
Are there always doctors on call? What about holidays?
In-person doctors are not always on call and available to help you on holidays, weekends, or late at night. In terms of virtual doctors, the hours do vary from provider to provider. However, there are multiple telehealth providers that are available 24/7, and do, indeed, have doctors on call always.
Where to Find Doctors on Call 24/7
Are you ready to see how virtual doctors can help you live a better, healthier life? If you’re searching for a telehealth platform, consider choosing Telegra MD, a secure and reliable provider. The Telegra MD doctors are licensed, certified, and friendly, and they are ready to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
Telegra MD is a trustworthy telehealth provider, and it is easy to sign up for and affordable. With dermatologists, counselors, psychiatrists, and other expert specialists in the Telegra MD network of doctors, you can have peace of mind knowing that they can and will take care of any and all of your minor medical concerns.