ADVANTAGE OF SEEING US IN CLINIC
Surely in cases where patients can’t get in to see their doctors in-person due to the nature of
their illness or Lockdown conditions, and for some cases that don’t require a physical
examination, telehealth can be a good alternative.
However in general an in-person consultation with a qualified Medical Practitioner can have the following advantages:
1. Patient gets the continuity of care necessary. The doctor has all the records at hand, complete history of the case, past/currenr treatment details, etc. When patients use ondemand telemedicine services that connect them with a random healthcare provider, continuity of care surely suffers. The online Medical Practitioner might not have access to past records and history for the patient or have the time to delve into it enough, which increases the risk of improper diagnosis and/or incorrect/ inadequate treatment.
2. In clinic the patient gets a “personal touch,” for their treatment from the Physician which is not possible online where not all procedures – even simple checkups – can be performed digitally. The ability to personally touch or feel the patient goes a long way in making accurate diagnosis and determining the best line of treatment.
3. Live video communications technology hasn’t advanced enough to allow for comprehensive medical care. Technology glitches, poor broadband connections or a power outage can disrupt or slow down an internet connection, complicating online consultation with a doctor which could lead to “possible patient mismanagement”. This would generally never
happen during a visit in clinic.
4. Any information transmitted online—particularly audio, video, and images—can fall prey to hackers. In clinic all medical records and sensitive information stays safe in the patient chart.
5. While meeting with the Doctor in person he/she picks up on several non-verbal cues and body language which might certainly slip through the cracks during an online consultation.
6. Physical examination of patient cannot be done in telemedicine. The current shortfall of telemedicine is its incompleteness in examining a patient to the same degree as the clinic visit.
7. Clinical findings can be missed, objective findings which the doctor discovers during an in person visit are missing.
8. Online there isn’t the “personal connection” and “reassurance of human touch” which is built in a clinic visit with their doctor.
9. Most patients do not have some of the most basic medical equipment that is essential to a doctor’s visit at home for their accurate physical examination. These include a clinical
thermometer, blood pressure cuff and monitor and pulse oximeter.
10. Healthcare laws and privacy laws are well worked out for in person doctor visits but that for telemedicine is changing as potential concerns arise.