13 Nov How a doctor video consultation works
What to expect from a doctor video consultation
Dr Ruhil Badiani, Family Medical Consultant, Health at Hand
Video consultations, or telehealth, are totally new for most of us and if you have never done one before, you are probably wondering how they work. It is normal to feel apprehensive. We are traditionally used to making an appointment with our doctor and seeing them in the same room – we have done this the same way our whole lives. In my view, one of the main advantages of video consultations is the convenience: they allow you to see a doctor quickly and at a time and a location that suits you. Video consultations allow us to give you advice without you having to leave your home. This is a huge advantage if you are not feeling well! It also gives you that all important peace of mind when you are worried about a child or family member.
How do you assess me during a video consultation?
When I consult you as a patient, the most important part of the assessment is the learning about the history of your illness. This is when you describe your symptoms and how they are affecting you. I question you about any health problems you have experienced in the past, the medications you take and any other important information. During this time, I will also ask you questions which will help me to diagnose what is wrong with you. At Health at Hand, we follow the NICE clinical guidelines, using the evidence-based care model. This is no different from the way I would question you if we were together in the same room.
What if you need to examine me to find out what is wrong?
If you are suffering with certain conditions such as rashes for example, you can take a picture before you see me. I will look at this before and during the consultation. You can also show me using your phone camera during the call. I may also guide you through a self-examination, for example, asking to you to feel the glands in your neck for tenderness if you have a sore throat. There are obviously some things which will I will not be able to assess such as an inner ear infection. In this situation, I may need to direct you to the most appropriate health professional. However, you will be suprised by the huge range of conditions doctors are able to assess and treat using video consultation. As many as 7 out of 10 of common visits to a clinic could be done using video.
How will I remember what you have recommended?
When the call is finished I will write a record of the consultation, detailing what we discussed, along with my recommendations for you. You will have access to this in your Doctor’s Report in the My History tab on the app as soon as I have submitted it, shortly after the consultation ends. You will then be able to take this to the pharmacy if I have recommended a medication and show the pharmacist. Or I can arrange for the medication to be delivered to your door within an hour. If I have recommended you consult another health professional, you will be able to download and share my notes with them and they will be able to see the details of my assessment of your problem.
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