With urgent care full and doctors’ appointment calendars filled up for weeks, patients are looking for new ways to get the health information they need. Medical advice is shared online every second between patients and doctors.
Professional health advice is valuable information, but online connections need to be thoroughly researched before you commit to a treatment or specific caregiver’s advice.
Information is power
Patients can start gathering online health advice at their personal physician’s website. Medical groups often have sites that include blogs and questionnaires written by their member physicians.
Perform a search for hypertension on the iCliniq website, for example, to see common symptoms listed or to answer personal questions through a survey. If you have a concern about an ailment, an appointment can be made automatically through the website.
Patients who catch issues and ailments early are often healthier in the long term in contrast with others that neglect their care.
Verifying the professional
If a patient wants to venture further into the online world of medical advice, look for specific article features. Any reputable doctor adds his or her full name, linked biography, and even a photo alongside the advice.
If some advice appears questionable, research the doctor’s credentials online at the American Board of Medical Specialties or American Board of Physician Specialties. Each doctor should have basic information listed prominently on these sites to be certified by certain states.
Virtual house calls
Doctors are going even further for their patients. If a patient has an issue but cannot make it to an urgent care facility, he or she can go online to chat or email with a doctor.
These virtual house calls are typically performed by doctors within the patient’s medical group or network. Symptoms and ailments are discussed, which possibly culminates in a prescription or another appointment at a physical office.
Patients’ lives can easily be saved or enhanced with practically instant access to medical advice.
Updating patients in real time
Conditions in the medical arena are constantly shifting. New, important information is released about diseases and research each day.
Savvy doctors are using the Internet to share their news through social media. From Facebook to Twitter, patients can hear the latest on hypertension or strokes directly from their doctors. They can even comment or ask questions through social media sites.
Recalled medicines, for example, can be pulled faster from patients with instant information on social updates.
Traditional visits remain a must
Although the virtual world holds many solutions for all patients, there’s no substitute for a traditional office visit. Doctors must physically check the body for visual clues about ailments and vital signs.
Between yearly physicals, however, patients can learn more about their health and potential risks. The information encourages more visits to the doctor to find or treat a chronic condition.
From medical group websites to well-known doctors blogging on news sites, patients have hundreds of outlets where they can find the health information they need. Think carefully about the site and its experts before trying a new diet or supplement, though; always rely on reputable doctors to stay healthy.