Every time you need a doctor, you go online to search for them. often you end up booking an appointment with someone you really repent. These are few must-know facts which will help you find a doctor you actually need.
Where to search for a doctor online?
Doctor search sites.
Practo is a leading company in the online doctor search in India and provides both physical and online access to doctors.
It has a pan India presence and has more than 100,000 doctors associated with it.
Besides doctors searching it also provides the following services.
- online consultation with doctors
- online ordering of medications
- online ordering of investigations
- practice-related software for doctors
If you know the type of doctor (specializations/expertise/degree) you are looking for, Practo is the best place to explore.
- lybratelybrate is a relatively smaller player limited to metros only and growing into tier ii and iii cities.It predominantly concentrates on online and offline consultations with doctors.
Social media sites
Almost all doctors use LinkedIn for maintaining their professional connections with other colleagues.
If you know the doctor’s name, LinkedIn is probably the best site to see the following details of a doctor
- professional qualifications,
- institutional associations
- work experience and affiliations
- areas of expertise of the doctor
- popularity in its fraternity
LinkedIn does not allow people to communicate with unconnected people, so the appointment has to be booked from an appointment booking site only.
Twitter is also gaining popularity among doctors. Twitter is the best site for casual interaction with unknown/unconnected people.
You can use twitter to contact and share information with the doctor if you know the name.
You can search using hashtag names of the medical condition of your interest. you will find a lot of patients, doctors, and hospitals/ clinics sharing their experiences. YOU CAN CONNECT WITH ANY OF THEM DIRECTLY.
Online consultation or physical consultation in a clinic?
Physical consultation in the clinic should be the choice.
Things to be sure before starting the online search for a doctor
- Be sure of the doctor you want to see before you search.
- Be sure of your medical condition.
- Your actual purpose of consultation.
- long term cost and expenses
use filters to find the doctor of your choice
- Most sites provide filters for locating doctors. besides using the location, other filters can also provide important information about the doctor
- Always prefer a doctor available full time at one location over those which distribute their time at multiple locations.
- A narrow window of 1-2 hours makes it hard for patients to reach due to distance and traffic.
- Alternate days or few days a week availability is difficult to remember.
- Clinic given small time slots by the doctors tends to be understaffed and Under Equipped in comparison to clinics where doctors are available full time.
- Most of the successful Doctors are either independently practicing or associated with big hospitals.
- ln case of specialist or super-specialist required for a second opinion or any specialized surgery or procedure, the location and fee should not be a deciding factor.
- For routine consultation or regular follow up, a doctor in the close locality should see be preferred
- Association of doctors with a hospital offers advantages of availability of admission facility, in house radiology, emergency services which are usually not present in clinics.
- It often correlates with seniority, experience, and popularity of a doctor.
- It also reflects on the long term cost of the treatment.
Data privacy and legal issues.
- Personal information” and “sensitive personal data or information” are protected as per government policies.
- All companies use non-identifiable data for analysis and research.
- Your details maybe share with sister companies engaged in selling drugs online or ordering online tests etc.
- Medical records are to be maintained by the doctor /hospital you are seeking consultation.
- Doctor search sites have a stated policy that they are party to any doctor-patient contract that you have with your doctor.
- It’s your responsibility to collect the complete prescription /medical records at the end of the consultation.
- in case of a medico-legal dispute, the search website will not be involved.
- NO DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP: all the doctor search sites have a clear policy that they do not own the medico-legal responsibility of the treatment quality or outcome, from a service taken through them. So it is your responsibility to verify the qualification, competence of the person you are consulting, and the quality of the services you are receiving.
- NOT FOR EMERGENCY USE all doctor search sites clearly state that you should not use their services during an emergency, but consult the hospital/clinic directly.
- OPD expenses are covered under regular health cover or it can be added as a top-up