Stop for a moment and think about going to the doctor. What thoughts pop to mind? There’s a good chance you released a sigh and nearly rolled your eyes. Even though seeing a physician is vital to your health, the process can be annoying. It can also eat up a lot of time.
Sometimes going to the doctor can consume your whole day. You may need to take time off work. Then, between traveling to the office and sitting in the waiting room, you can kiss several more hours goodbye. You’re in luck, though. Technology has a solution!
The rise of telehealth and online medical appointments makes it easier than ever to see your doctor. Whether it’s a routine visit or an urgent request, you can snag a virtual meeting. Keep reading to learn about several benefits of skipping the real-world waiting room.
1. More Convenient Care
If you’ve been going to the same doctor for years, it’s easy to think that’s your only quality healthcare option. Even if the care is great, it can be difficult to fit it into your day. There’s good news, though. Instead of dedicating hours to a 15-minute face-to-face conversation, consider an online doctor.
These digital-world docs have many similarities with an in-person provider. They’ll ask about your symptoms, your medical history, and medications. Through your smartphone or computer camera, they can assess problems, such as strep throat or sores. Plus, once they diagnose you, they can prescribe necessary medications or refer you to a specialist.
2. Efficient Chronic Care Management
When you think of an online physician visit, you may be tempted to think of urgent or one-time needs. Virtual appointments with primary care physicians are also effective in helping you manage your chronic conditions. If you have high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure, talking to your doctor frequently is important. Video and phone visits make that possible.
If you’re comfortable in your own environment, you’re more likely to remember all your medical questions. Plus, you can grab prescriptions if your doctor needs to know what you’re taking or how you respond to it. When your doctor can see your home, it’s easier for them to provide instructions on diet and exercise changes, too.
3. Access to Specialists
Overall, most of your doctor visits will probably be with your primary care doctor. There may come a time, though, when you need to see a specialist. If you live in a rural location, that could be complicated. Not every town has a cardiologist, rheumatologist, or dermatologist available.
Don’t worry — even if the doctor you need practices on the other side of the country. Online visits can come to your rescue. Rather than purchase an expensive plane ticket, schedule a virtual consultation. You’ll still get to see the doctor face-to-face, but it will take less time and money.
4. Prescriptions in Less Time
There could also be times when you need to see the doctor for the simplest of requests. Perhaps you just need the physician to refill a long-standing prescription. Maybe you have a viral sinus infection and need some antibiotics.
If that’s the case, there’s really no need to devote several hours getting to the doctor’s office. You just need a quick conversation about your symptoms so the doctor can send an order to the pharmacy. For something so quick and easy, online appointments are the way to go.
5. No Lost Work Time
Depending on your job, getting to the doctor can be challenging. If you’re paid hourly, every minute you’re not on the clock means fewer dollars in your paycheck. Even if you’re on salary, you may have a boss who gets annoyed when you’re not at your desk.
When work gets in the way of your health needs, turn to video visits. Most virtual doctors offer appointments throughout the day. So, squeeze in an appointment while you eat lunch at your desk or in your car. It’s an easy way to take care of yourself without throwing your schedule into turmoil.
6. Save Time and Transportation Costs
Seeing the doctor can cost much more than just forking over the co-pay when you check-in. If you drive, you may have to pay for toll roads and parking. Even taking the bus, subway, or Uber or Lyft can add to the expense. Logging in on your computer, though? That’s free.
You should also consider the cost of your time investment. Navigating traffic is rarely quick and easy. And how often do you find yourself circling the parking deck, searching for an open spot? Those delays can leave you sprinting to make your appointment on time. With computer appointments, it’s easy to be on time. Simply sign in a minute or two before the visit starts.
7. Sidestep Other Illnesses
Avoiding viruses and bacteria has been a high-alert concern for several years now. The doctor’s office can be Ground Zero for these infectious bugs. There’s always at least one person sneezing or coughing. If you’re trying to stay healthier, an online appointment could be best.
A virtual visit lets you completely skip the waiting room — and all the exposure to extra illnesses. If you’re not in the doctor’s office, you can’t catch a cold. As a result, you’re more likely to stay healthy. Plus, you’ll also keep the people you live with safer.
There’s no question that seeing the doctor is vital to your overall health and well-being. It’s a high priority. That doesn’t mean it needs to take a long time or be inconvenient.
Making an appointment with an online doctor ensures you get the care you need on your schedule. It also offers the laundry list of benefits above. Take it all into consideration the next time you need to connect with your physician.