In no small part due to the pandemic, more and more people are signing up for the services of online doctors, either to provide holistic care or as a complementary service to run alongside their regular provision. If you’re considering making the switch to an online doctor, then you may be wondering what you need to know in order to find the most suitable option for you. Use the guide below to help you make the best choice possible.
First and foremost, it’s vital to ensure that the online doctor you are considering using has all the necessary licensing and certification in place that is legally required for them to practice. This is easy to check. Head over to the providers’ website, and, in most cases, you will find a list of the licenses and certificates that they hold. If this information isn’t listed, then it’s vital to get in contact with the practice to get these details.
Next, get in touch with the issuing body to verify the legitimacy of these credentials. This whole process can take just a very short time but is crucial to ensure you will be treated by staff who are properly medically trained and, therefore, will practice safely, competently, and ethically.
It’s also a good idea to check whether the online doctor you’re considering has undertaken training in providing virtual consultations and care, as these require distinct skills that are in addition to those needed in an in-person setting.
Most online doctors provide a wide range of services, but it’s important to check that these services, and this type of provision in general, is fit for your particular needs.
For example, if you have long-standing or complex health conditions, it will probably be best for you to remain under the care of your regular medical team, although you may want to also use an online doctor service as well, to obtain prescriptions, for example, or to get advice about common ailments like hay fever or minor injuries.
You may have heard about an app called K-Health that uses AI to offer a diagnostic tool and to provide answers to a range of healthcare questions. The app will then connect users to a doctor if necessary. If you’re wondering, ‘is K-Health legit?’ then you’re not alone. This app, however, is legitimate and is one way in which users are accessing online doctors’ services. It may not be for everyone, but it could be a convenient way to get assistance and advice without the need for an appointment. Again, this will depend on your personal level of needs and your preferences.
Think about practicalities, too, around when you are able to access online consultations. Some online doctors offer evening and weekend appointments, so if appointments during these days and times fit best around your work or other commitments, then check that the provider does offer them, how likely you are to be able to secure these, and whether or not there is an additional charge for consultations.
Being sure that the provider you’re thinking of signing up with provides first-class customer service is an important aspect of making a choice. It’s important to find out how support can be accessed and whether this is available on a 24/7 basis or during normal office hours only; if you have an evening appointment, for example, and are having trouble connecting to the service, you need to know what recourse you’ll have to access the care you require in an alternative way.
Have a look on the online doctor’s website for more information on the provision available, and take some time to read plenty of online reviews from present or former service users, to get a realistic idea of the overall quality of care.
Making sure that an online doctors’ service is compatible with your medical insurance is vital, and spending time to ensure that this is the case and that there are no hidden charges or extras that won’t be covered by your insurance, is vital to prevent any nasty surprises.
Signing up for and accessing most online medical provisions will usually mean that, if you have insurance, consultations will be charged at either a reduced rate or won’t incur any charges. Contact the medical provider before signing up if you’re unsure.
Steer clear of medical scams or illegitimate doctors’ services by taking a few simple steps. Firstly, check the provider’s website address bar, and look for ‘HTTPS’ rather than just ‘HTTP.’ Browse through a few pages, looking at the professionalism of the language and how the content appears: typos or a poorly presented site is a warning sign.
Be very wary of any medical providers that seem to be offering ‘miracle’ or ‘too-good-to-be-true’ cures or treatments, or any representatives of online services that employ hard-sell tactics or that try to persuade you to sign up and make a payment by advising you that you’ll get a discount if you subscribe immediately.
If you’re looking for an online doctor, then it’s important to consider all of the above points before signing up for a service. With so many options available, it’s crucial to make the best choice to ensure that you will have access to the care you need and in the way that works for you.