Ever since the pandemic has hit the globe, access to quality medicinal assistance has become a subject of strain. The pandemic compelled many health care practitioners to close their clinic set-ups, resulting in the unavailability of medicinal consultation, support, and treatment.
But, with the technology penetrating every sector, the physician-patient relationship has evolved. Now, you don’t need to face crowded waiting rooms, as telemedicine has taken charge to eradicate the distance between a doctor and patients. With the advent of a host of online communication channels like diabetes chat room, anxiety, Depression, etc, patients can now be well-informed and make remote appointments.
What Is Telemedicine?
In simple terms, it allows doctors/physicians to assess, examine and treat patients through a virtual diagnosis. And, these virtual platforms include video calls, phone calls, or other technology-oriented modes of communication.
In this blog, we have attempted to touch upon some of the online chatting methodologies that are currently in use. So without further ado, let’s dive in!
Ways to Establish Communication with Healthcare Platforms
Here’s a list through which a patient can contact doctors, physicians, and related medical staff.
SMS or Web Chat
Some options allow a patient to talk with a doctor via messaging, namely SMS or Web Chatting. These choices serve as short-term support for a patient is in crisis by allowing him to gain counseling with a trained counselor. And, people of any age group, whether children, teens, or adults, are free to use these services.
The healthcare online chat option enables a person to get in touch with fully registered physicians, nutritionists, and pharmacists. Also, there is an option where patients can upload their medical reports to make the doctors aware of the severity of their condition. In case your condition is grave, you can also video call the doctor to have an immediate consultation.
Website communication is the most preferred option to regular email since it ensures enhanced privacy and security. In this form of communication, doctors and related staff are informed of the website messages via their regular email messages. After which, they post the replies to the website, which the patient can only access. Later, the patient is sent the response through email.
Why Is Healthcare Web-Based Messaging Secure?
When you use the web-based messaging module, you must partner with a vendor that controls HIPAA and other security requirements. The additional benefit is the access to templates that make sure that the patients’ messages involve information needed for various express reasons. The reasons are:
- To undertake the prescription refill requests
- To substantially dictate the issues and offer some medicinal assessment data for the doctors or related staff
Integrated Online Communication
EMR (Web-enabled electronic medical record) systems are now capable of offering integrated online communication using the web-based messaging framework (model discussed earlier).
What about online healthcare?
An integrated online system ensures the availability of the patient’s entire medical record to the doctor during the online communication. And, the communication taking place makes its way in the patient’s record.
It is one of the oldest and most widely used forms of online communication in the primary care sector. Regular emails have gained popularity due to their easy usage and low-cost involvement. Although this form raises the issue of security concerns, it doesn’t violate the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). And this happens because patients are informed of the potential risks beforehand.
E-Clinics or Healthcare Programs
The virtual clinic offers various treatment programs on various health issues, i.e., mental health treatment programs. These programs help you work at your own pace, discarding the involvement of a healthcare professional. Programs consist of various modules covering common health symptoms and incorporating some suggested tactics to cope with these symptoms.
For example, some clinics may offer mental assessments and cures for people dealing with common psychological problems. These disorders may include, but are not limited to stress, depression, and anxiety. After completing the online assessment, you might be directed to a suitable online program, and this extension may also cover your connection with a therapist.
In a nutshell, these programs have been declared as an effective alternative to face-to-face therapy.
Peer Support Forums
The health care online chat forums are the safest places that allow you to share your personal experiences, queries, and support with other participants, that too, without revealing your true identity.
Peer Support Forums turn to be the common platform where helpful advices and suggestions are exchanged as they educate people about various viruses and diseases. These podiums are governed by trained volunteers and health care professionals which is what makes them trustworthy and credible.
More precisely, these forums offer support rather than providing treatment or crisis management.
You may come across a plethora of smartphone applications that focus on offering e-help to patients with research-based facts, online doctor consultation, and much more.
Though the credibility of these applications is still in doubt, we can rely on these apps to get into immediate contact with doctors in times of urgency. Sometimes, we need to know the nearby doctors operating now; and these apps can give you hints of their offices.
Interactive Agents — Chatbots
It is a program that uses artificial intelligence to communicate with people. In simpler words, there would be no human striking up a conversation with you, only a bot that will be answering your queries.
Since every realm has welcomed digital disruption, the medical domain has also responded to these changes. Now the Chatbots are being used to respond to inquiries effectively. And, this makes the health practitioners invest time in dealing with crucial attention-demanding medicinal cases.
Remember, this alternative is not meant to replace any medical treatment. It acts as a helping hand to ease down the pressure on health care practitioners.
Quite evident from the options above, patient-doctor communication over the internet has bolstered patient-centered care and has deceptively eliminated the episodic visits to the hospitals. Whatever your choice, it offers ample opportunities for the patients to nurture a healthy and better lifestyle.
In the unprecedented pandemic, when everyone is avoiding face-to-face interaction, these alternatives become an eventual savior. With the help of these e-platforms, people will now get to know more real-time information that is free-of-cost and accurate.