As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many communities have been under quarantine for days, even weeks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are the most reputable sources for guidelines during this time. In direct response to this fast-spreading coronavirus, their guidance has been to practice social isolation and good hygiene.
Avoiding groups of 10 or more, washing hands and working from home if possible have been simple for many people to implement. However, as this season continues, people may be struck with general sicknesses and wonder: should I go to the doctor?
Whether your symptoms do or don’t mimic COVID-19 is the first question any medical facility will ask you over the phone. When people start feeling sick during quarantine, they’ll start to investigate how to find a virtual doctor.
Virtual Medical Care for Sickness
Telemedicine is a recommended practice for anyone who has a non-urgent medical need. The CDC recommends that hospitals and other healthcare facilities immediately action virtual options, which can provide triage and access to a video doctor appointment. There are numerous benefits to having a remote doctor appointment.
Virtual Doctor Appointment
A virtual doctor appointment can give you access to an expert opinion which will diagnose your symptoms or condition.
A virtual medical visit with a nurse or doctor could include:
- Triage and assessment through biometric screenings. Devices like a smartphone can take your heart rate and temperature. You can self-report other items, such as how you are feeling.
- Video chat to meet the doctor, for visual review and to communicate whatever issues or challenges you are facing.
- Receive a personalized treatment plan and maybe a prescription from the doctor.
Some states have laws about how you can be treated via telemedicine.
There are typically three steps to an online doctor visit:
- Download the software and book an appointment
- “See” a doctor
- Be diagnosed and pick up a prescription, if necessary
Find a Medical Doctor Online
DocClocker has a feature that helps you locate doctors near you. Whether you need an emergency room near you or a regular doctor visit, this can help.
If you are looking to schedule a video doctor appointment with a board-certified provider, there are a few platforms that can help. Some of the most popular telemedicine apps are:
- MD Live
- LiveHealth Online
- Providence Virtual Express
- Doctor On Demand
You will want to research which platform is right for you, keeping in mind that:
- Not all platforms provide the same scope or range of services
- Not all platforms accept insurance
- Not all platforms have 24/7 availability
Confirm that whichever app you use, the medical care providers are qualified.
Want more information about medical care in your area? Use this directory to find your local health department and how they are directing clinics and medical facilities near you during COVID-19.
Virtual Doctor for Chronic Conditions
Moving into virtual care for chronic medical conditions is a push during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients are finding that doctors are cancelling regular appointments for certain, non life-threatening therapies and treatments. If you have a chronic condition with non-acute needs, your appointment may have been canceled. However, you may have persistent symptoms or needs that can’t wait interminably until this coronavirus subsides.
Chronic conditions that could benefit from virtual appointments include:
- Virtual diabetes educator and coaches
- Mental health support and treatment
- Men’s health and erectile dysfunction
- Detecting or monitoring blood pressure issues
- High-stigma infections or diseases
- Common cold or simple illnesses
How do you find a doctor for chronic condition treatment? You can use one of the doctor locating or telemedicine options listed above. Another source where many people are finding help is through their medical insurance.
Insurance companies, in accordance with CDC and other guidelines, are making more telemedicine and video appointment options available for their policyholders. This may mean that insurance will cover virtual doctor appointments.
You can find out more about seeing a virtual doctor for chronic conditions by visiting your medical insurance provider’s website.
Whether you are seeking to avoid waiting rooms to reduce infection or would rather forego leaving your house altogether, virtual medical care could be the answer. There are numerous healthcare apps that are available to help everyone through COVID-19 and beyond. You can follow this blog to stay in the loop about the latest research and development in IT healthcare and go here to learn more about how DocClocker is bringing transparency to medical care.