Is it Time to Move Your Doctor’s Appointment Online?
Setting up a doctor’s appointment can be a daunting task for many. You have to make the call, hold the line, drive to the office, and wait to see the doctor. For those who have the time, setting a doctor’s appointment may not be as inconvenient as a chore. However, for most, a trip to the doctor may be impossible to schedule, along with the countless other things that have to get done in a day.
Thankfully, there are many options when it comes to consulting with a physician. You can schedule a traditional doctor’s appointment or consult with your doctor via telehealth calls, texts, and video chats. While in-person visits are required for certain tests and assessments, virtual appointments can provide a safe and convenient way of seeing a doctor as quickly as possible. The most important takeaway is that there are now many options to suit everyone’s needs when considering healthcare! So, how do you determine which method to choose when it comes time to schedule a doctor’s appointment?
Types of Doctor’s Appointments
The primary decision-making factor is determining what kind of appointment you have to schedule. Many doctor’s appointments are available online; however, some require an in-person consultation.
- Office Visit: These are the doctor’s appointments that are made when someone is feeling ill, has an ache or pain, or has some other form of ailment. An office visit typically occurs when there is a specific reason for seeing the doctor, usually the initial occurrence of a condition that requires an assessment or diagnosis.
- Physical: A physical, or wellness check, is a routine visit to a doctor’s office in which a healthcare professional assesses your overall health. This form of doctor’s appointment isn’t always performed by the primary physician. Physicals can be provided by nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, as well. During a physical exam, your healthcare provider will check your vital signs and evaluate certain parts of your body. These include your eyes, ears, nose, throat, stomach, and reflexes. Wellness checks and physicals are an integral part of a good, comprehensive healthcare regimen.
- Screening, labs, and vaccinations: This is when you schedule a doctor’s appointment for a special screening, blood work, or vaccination. Typically, a doctor or healthcare professional will administer a test to perform various screenings or dispense vaccines and boosters. Some screening visits take place at specialists’ offices, such as an eye doctor or gynecologist.
- Travel consultations: It is particularly important to schedule a doctor’s appointment when traveling abroad. By setting aside time to discuss the places you plan on visiting, your doctor can recommend any necessary vaccines, inform you of health concerns, and give you advice on how to best protect yourself and your health.
- Follow-ups and post-ops: After sustaining an injury or having surgery, it is important to schedule a doctor’s appointment to make sure that you are healing properly. It is also important in determining whether or not the post-op care that you are receiving is successfully helping you heal.
The Doctor Appointments You Should Be Getting Every Year
There are five different doctor’s appointments that are important to schedule on a yearly basis. Regularly scheduling these visits can help prevent any developing conditions and give you the opportunity to reach a prime level of health. Here are the five doctor’s appointments you should have on your calendar every year.
- Physical or wellness check
- Eye doctor appointment
Scheduling these doctor appointments on an annual basis is an important step towards taking control of your health. By being proactive and attending to the appointments listed above, you ensure that any issues that may arise are handled quickly and, hopefully, before anything has the chance to escalate. Conveniently, some of these doctor’s appointments can be scheduled and attended to virtually.
In-Person Vs. Online Appointments
As of today, there are two main methods of setting and attending a doctor’s appointment: virtually or in person. Which is a better choice? That depends on the nature of the visit. In any situation in which a physical exam, screening, or test is required, it’s better to schedule a doctor’s appointment at the office. Some conditions and ailments require an in-person assessment to reach a correct diagnosis. Also, any condition for which the treatment includes prescribing a controlled substance must be evaluated during an in-person doctor’s appointment.
Online doctor appointments are great for conditions that require a visual or verbal evaluation. Virtual appointments can be used to treat illnesses and ailments, including:
- The common cold
- Pink eye
- The flu
- Dermatological conditions
- Respiratory problems
- And many more.
Online doctor appointments are a great option for those who are short on time, are sick and don’t want to leave their homes, or don’t have accessible transportation. Virtual appointments can also be more cost-effective, with lower initial or out-of-pocket expenses.
What to Expect From a Virtual Doctor Appointment?
You can expect the same level of quality care at a virtual doctor’s appointment that you would receive from an in-office visit. After choosing a reputable and safe telehealth platform, you’ll need to register and provide the same kind of information that you share with the staff at your doctor’s office. There may be a required assessment to determine your medical history and any current treatment that you are currently receiving.
After registering, you can schedule a doctor’s appointment with a physician. Many online healthcare providers are able to see you on the same day that you schedule your appointment. During your doctor’s appointment, you’ll discuss your condition and concerns with the doctor. From there, the doctor will prescribe you the appropriate medication or outline the best form of treatment. No calling, waiting, or driving—just quality healthcare from the comfort of your own home.
Online doctor’s appointments are convenient and simple. However, it is still very important to continue to visit your primary care doctor, as well as any specialists that you are required to see to best maintain your health. Virtual doctor appointments are just one of the many resources you can utilize to ensure that you are optimizing your health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a doctor prescribe me medication through a virtual appointment?
Absolutely! Physicians conducting online doctor appointments are able to prescribe medications for many conditions and illnesses. These include antibiotics, ointments, creams, allergy medication, and even prescriptions for psychiatric needs. What your online doctor can’t prescribe are controlled substances. Any medication deemed a controlled substance by the DEA requires an in-person consultation.
Are online doctor’s appointments as safe as in-person visits?
Yes. Virtual healthcare platforms comply with all required HIPAA rules and regulations. Additionally, all of the information discussed during your virtual doctor’s appointment is secure, private, and maintained on high-security servers. When attending an online appointment, you can be assured that your information is just as protected as it is when you visit your primary care physician’s office.
Can I replace all of my doctor’s appointments with virtual consultations?
Unfortunately, you can’t. While online doctor appointments are incredibly convenient and safe, some services and diagnoses still require a physical examination. Urgent care needs such as allergies, cold and flu symptoms, bacterial illnesses, as well as, dermatological issues, and mental health needs can usually be addressed during virtual doctor’s appointments. If you are unsure, it is always best to consult with your primary care doctor.
Are You Ready to Schedule Your Online Appointment? Start With Telegra MD!
If it’s time to schedule your next doctor’s appointment, then it’s time to consider booking an appointment online! Virtual consultations are simple, effective, and completely done from the comfort of your own home. Choosing the best place to start can be stressful—and honestly, a bit scary! Telegra MD is the premier choice for online doctor’s appointments. The physicians at Telegra MD are able to attend to many patient needs, such as dermatology, urgent care cases, therapy, and psychiatry.
If you’re getting ready to schedule a doctor’s appointment for a stuffy nose, a sore throat, pink eye, or almost anything else, put down the phone and head to your computer. There’s no need to wait in line while the receptionist checks the schedule, drive all the way to the office, and wait in a room full of other sick people. Instead, open up your laptop and get started without even leaving your bed! And there’s no need to guess how much the consultation is going to cost; appointments are based on flat rates and may be lower depending on your insurance.