e-Consultations are the latest way healthcare professionals can extend their services. By utilizing an online delivery approach, patients can access medical expertise that is immediate and convenient for them. These virtual check-ups are great for patients who have limited time or mobility, and are all the more appropriate in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This article will discuss the process of an average e-Consultation, as well as what information an average patient will need to provide their doctor over a virtual check-up appointment.
How E-Consultations Work
An e-Consultation is a viable alternative to face-to-face check-ups, so long as the medical practice offers this option for its patients. With the exception of medical emergencies, an e-Consultation is a good proxy for most patients’ primary care concerns. Generally, an e-Consultation is conducted in this step-by-step process:
- A patient submits a form detailing their condition or symptoms. They may choose to attach other relevant files, such as imaging exam results or previous medical reports and prescriptions.
- Once the medical practice receives this form online, they can conduct a “triage” to highlight if there are any critical or urgent symptoms that need to be addressed immediately.
- The doctor may then choose to send a one-way message with advice for the patient, or conduct a more thorough consultation by phone or video call. Depending on the situation, a doctor may also ask the patient to have a face-to-face appointment instead.
- If a doctor will proceed with a face-to-face appointment, they would already have the patient’s medical history on hand and can make a more informed diagnosis.
What to Let You Doctor Know
Prepare yourself for your e-Consultation by familiarizing yourself ahead of time with what most e-Consultation forms will ask. While some questionnaires may be tailored to the medical practice depending the specialization (e.g. OB-GYN), most questionnaires commonly ask about:
- Your basic personal information: This includes your name, contact details, email address, sex, and birthdate.
- Your description of the condition: A space will be available for you to itemize your symptoms, how and when they began, and if you are feeling any pain. This section is crucial to helping your doctor diagnose you correctly. There will also be the option to attach relevant prior medical reports, imaging test results, and the like if available.
- Your patient history: Your doctor may also have questions regarding previous treatments (if available), medications currently being taken, and family medical history.
- Your social history: Most medical questionnaires will also include questions about your occupation, your habits in relation to smoking, drinking alcohol, or drug use, and more.
- Your bodily functions: You can also expect questions on bowel and bladder functions or pertinent physical limitations. Female patients would also expect to give responses regarding their menstrual periods or their prenatal history.
Try E-Consulting Today
If you’re looking for a medical practice that offers e-Consultations for spinal concerns, contact us at Scoliosis & Spine Associates. We have been treating patients with spinal deformities and disorders for over fifty years, so we are well-experienced in providing our patients with the highest level of spinal care – whether online or offline.