Due to the rapid onset of pandemic and the fact that visits to a hospital can increase the chance of getting infected by Covid-19, a new model of healthcare that includes avoiding face-to-face consultation between patient and clinician has emerged. Though online home consultation is not new in India, it has especially become popular during the Covid times. There has been a rapid deployment of home consultation in response to the pandemic.
Myths about home consultation for Covid 19
For patients in need of a consultation regarding Covid-19, home consultation can be very useful. However, there still remains a trade-off between taking consultation from home and coming to the health center for a full examination. Online consultation is the first option that anyone should think of for most non-emergency cases. With just an internet connection and a device like a smartphone, tablet, and computer, people can connect with doctors and health care providers from their homes. Online consultation can help patients with coronavirus symptoms like fever, cough, and cold, and they can get professional advice if the Covid-19 test is recommended or not. Besides, the uptick in online consultation has also reduced the burden from the health centers so that they can focus more on serious patients.
Home consultation for covid 19 offers a wide array of benefits, but many people are not taking advantage of it due to the prevalent myths associated with it. Here are few myths about teleconsultation and the truths behind them:
Myth 1# Health professionals available online are not experienced.
Truth – Health professionals available online are equally qualified and knowledgeable as those you find in hospitals and clinics. In fact, the doctors you are taking online consultation with are also offering their services in hospitals, and in their free time, they are providing their services through the internet to bridge the gap caused by the geographical barrier.
Myth 2# They will wrongly diagnose and medicate you
Truth – Some people believe that for treatment to work, a physical examination is a must. However, in some emergency cases, it can be true, but not in all cases. The doctors available online are well-qualified to make the judgment of your health condition and suggest you the right medicine. They can rightly guide you when you need to take tests and to visit a hospital. For primary care, online consultation is one of the best ways to keep yourself safe.
Myth 3# People fear that they will be asked to get tested
Truth – Not all the patients suffering from fever, cough, and cold have Covid-19, and doctors know it. Some people think that if they take home consultation, they will be asked to take the Covid test no matter what they have.
Though it’s better to rule out Covid-19 if your symptoms match with that of Covid, not all doctors recommend getting yourself tested. Medical professionals are well experienced in deciding if the patient needs a Covid test or not.
Some people want to avoid medical testing or screening of any sort because they don’t want to face the consequences of positive results. There is a lot of fear among the people about Covid-19, which is causing them to avoid tests out of fear that they might find terrible news about themselves. Some individuals are also avoiding taking home consultations even when they have serious symptoms because simply the thought of being positive is worse than dealing with the persisting symptoms.
Myth 4# There is no privacy when you take an online consultation
Truth – It is true that we have seen disregard for the patients’ privacy since the onset of the pandemic. We have seen people sharing the private data of the infected individual on social media. Without any confidentiality, most people will be scared to come forward with the information, which is vital to stop the spread of the disease.
However, the doctors available for teleconsultation are highly professional, and they commit to preserving the patients’ privacy with regard to medical regulations guiding confidentiality. The platforms offering online consultations also provide a multi-factor authentication system to ensure that the patients’ data is safe. They also ensure that the data collection is done responsibly according to the data protection regulations.
By using home consultation, patients can make sure that they are maintaining social distancing and that they can stay away from the hospital environment where the chances of infections are high. Though teleconsultation is the first line of care during the pandemic, one must know that it isn’t the replacement for the in-person care needed during the emergency. We cannot say yet what the landscape of teleconsultation will be in post-covid-19 times, but the experts believe that the dramatic shift will continue to benefit patients in the future.