In this new digital age, even healthcare has largely moved online. Now, you can have a consultation with your doctor without stepping into a clinic or hospital. The perks of this trend are numerous.
First, you won’t have to drive, saving you time and cost. Also, you can have online consultations at virtually any time of the day. So, you don’t have to take time off from work to see your physician.
Despite the benefits of telemedicine, knowing how to select the right online doctor can be challenging, especially if it is your first time. Here are five things you should consider when choosing one of the many online doctors NZ has available now.
License and Certification
The first step in choosing an online doctor is to make sure that your online doctor is a licensed medical practitioner. The last thing you would want is an unqualified doctor giving you medical advice.
You can easily find out if the doctor you are considering is trained, licensed and certified. Go to the website of the online doctor service and check the credentials listed. Then, double check with the appropriate licensing authority to make sure their claims are valid.
Another aspect you should consider is whether or not the doctor is trained in handling telehealth consultations. Not all medical personnel, regardless of their experience and expertise, know how to run a proper consultation online.
You can consult with your doctor over a wide range of medical conditions, including allergies, colds, flu, insomnia, minor injuries and accidents, sexual health, pain, mental issues, headaches and migraines.
Find out the range of services that your online doctor service provides. Some provide referrals for additional care services including in-person GP appointments, ACC referrals, medical certificates and specialists.
A good online doctor service will let you know that not every condition should be handled through a virtual consultation. Medical emergency symptoms such as unexplained or severe bleeding, sudden or severe shortness of breath and potential overdoses require face-to-face care.
For many people, pricing is an important factor in choosing your online healthcare provider. Read extensively to understand your online doctor’s charges. Typically, you should get lower prices with insurance. Some excellent online doctor services offer free consultations for patients under 14 or 15 years old.
Make sure that there are no hidden charges. Some services require that you pay different prices for specific treatments, have extra evening or weekend surcharges, or charge for writing a prescription. These charges can quickly pile up and inflate your total bill. You’ll be better off with a provider that doesn’t have all these charges.
Another important factor to consider is the kind of choice that your online doctor service provides. Usually, online health services have several doctors on call. The best ones allow you to choose the doctor you want to see. You can check their list of available doctors to make your choice.
Finally, you should consider the kind of customer service available. Regardless of how good the doctors are, without the right customer service, you could have a terrible experience. With unstable networks, it’s possible that your virtual consultation would be interrupted. What happens then? Does the company provide some redress? Can you switch to a phone call if the internet is unstable? How the online doctor service handles your problem is key.
You can find out about their customer service track record by using review sites like Google My Business, Yelp, Trustpilot, and Angie’s List.
Choosing an online doctor is not an easy task. With so many options to explore, it can be tricky settling on one. But it doesn’t have to be hard. Consider these five key tips when it’s time to choose your online doctor. If you follow these steps, you’re likely to have an excellent experience with your online doctor.