Can’t Find a Good Doctor IRL? Consider Going Online
Finding a doctor who feels like the right fit for you can be challenging. You want someone who will listen, be understanding, and personalize your treatments. Unfortunately, searching for the right person can get complicated. Your insurance might only have a few doctors in network, and maybe you’ve already tried them all.
But have no fear, because there’s another option out there for you. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more health providers have been offering online services. Additionally, more insurers have been covering these services. There are even companies who operate exclusively online.
Patients now have more resources at their disposal than ever before. Keep reading for a breakdown of how online healthcare works and how to utilize it.
What Services Are Available Online?
It may surprise you just how many types of services are available through the internet these days. With modern technology and a range of new medical resources, you practically don’t even need to leave the house. Unless, of course, you need a procedure done or are experiencing a medical emergency, you can pretty much stay at home. Here are some of the top medical resources available online:
That’s right — you no longer need to go in person to get a prescription. There are many providers who can fill your medication needs through online means. Additionally, some can deliver your prescriptions straight to your door. That means you won’t need to make that dreaded trip to the pharmacy anymore.
From birth control to mental health medication, you can access pretty much everything online. Of course, for heavily controlled substances, like narcotics, you may still need to visit a doctor in person. This is required for your safety. However, if you’re taking regular prescriptions, you won’t have to jump through the same hurdles.
Many providers are also offering Telehealth options for appointments. Telehealth, and similar operating systems, is an online space through which you can connect with your doctor. This includes video chats and voice calls. Through systems like these, your doctor can contact you virtually from anywhere.
Through online appointments, you can still access the care you need without having to leave your house. This can be a lifesaver if you’re short on time or want to visit a doctor who’s far away. For those with children, you might find some relief in a virtual option for convenience. No more loading all the kids in the car!
Online resources have particularly blossomed in the mental health department. Having access to therapy is one of the easiest kinds of online medical assistance to receive. With so many companies providing these services, it might be hard to narrow down the options. Check out this Forbes ranking of the best online therapy providers.
Some providers offer multiple ways to connect with a therapist. Phone calls, video chat, and even texting are ways to receive therapy. It’s never been easier to get the mental health help you need.
Quick Questions & Answers
Have a question but don’t want to get a doctor involved? One of the perks of online medical resources is having access to nurse hotlines and chats. These allow you to get answers from real nurses quickly without having to wait for an appointment. Some hotlines even operate for 24 hours a day.
Why Make the Switch?
These services sound great and all, but you might still be on the fence. You might be wondering how seeking online health services could be beneficial to you. Here are just a few ways going virtual can positively impact your life:
You’ll Save Time
An appointment itself usually doesn’t last very long. So, why does it usually take over an hour to go see a doctor? The waiting time to see a professional can feel like forever, even after you’ve checked in. Plus, the time it takes to drive to the office and back home will tack onto the length.
With online appointments, you won’t have to deal with any of that. Scheduled appointments should be on time, and you don’t have to drive anywhere. That’s a win-win, for sure.
You’ll Save Money
Some providers actually cost less to see virtually than in-person. A recent 2021 study comparing in-person versus virtual urgent care appointments found the cost differed significantly. The average in-person visit cost about $142, while virtual services cost an average of $49.
This doesn’t apply to everyone out there. But one way you’re guaranteed to save money through going online is from not driving. With the cost of gas continuing to rise, being able to save mileage when you can is helpful.
Your Schedule Will Be More Flexible
As previously mentioned, you won’t have to deal with driving if you visit your doctor online. Depending on how far away your usual office is, this could save you significant time. That means your schedule won’t have to be so jam-packed anymore. You’ll have more options to set up appointments. Just remember to account for any time zone differences if the professional you’re seeing is out-of-state.
It’s Easier Than You Think
Seeing a doctor virtually isn’t as complicated as you might think. You’ll still have to deal with insurance and consultations, of course, but that’s nothing you can’t handle. Switching to an online format for healthcare is usually a fast and easy process. Remember, these providers offer these services for your benefit. So why not try it out? You’ll thank yourself later.