online doctor search

Online doctor search : important tips for patients

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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.

1. where to search 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 pan India presence, and has more than 100,000 doctors associated with it.

Beside doctors search it also provide following services.

  1. online consultation with doctors 
  2. online ordering of medications
  3. online ordering of investigations
  4. 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.

lyberate is a relatively smaller player limited to metros only and growing into tier ii and iii cities.

It predominately concentrates on online and offline consultations with doctors.

Social media sites

linkedin

Almost all doctor use LinkedIn for maintaining their professional connections with other colleagues.

 

If you know the doctors name , LinkedIn is probably the best site to see 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 the unconnected people, so the appointment has to be booked from a appointment booking site only.

Twitter

Twitter is also gaining popularity among doctors. twitter is best site to 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 lot of patients , doctors and hospitals/ clinics sharing their experiences. YOU CAN CONNECT WITH ANY OF THEM DIRECTLY.

2. Online consultation or physical consultation in clinic ?

Physical consultation in clinic  should to be the choice.

 

Online consultation : Avoid if possible

Some companies do offer the option of consulting the doctor on phone, chat or video, which defeat the very purpose of consultation.

It is not possible in most of the clinical conditions to diagnose and give a medical advise without actually examining a patient.

A complain of heart burn may be a sign of an actual heart attack. It is cheap but has high risk for the patient.

Its a huge risk on the part of patient because the advise given by a doctor without complete medical examination is likely to be incomplete or all together incorrect.

This will also delay the patient from physically seeing a doctor.

Also read

3. Things to be sure before starting the online search for doctor

  • Be sure of the doctor you want see, before you search.
  • Be sure of your medical condition.
  • Your actual purpose of consultation.
  • long term cost and expenses

4. use filters to find the doctor of your choice

Most sites provide filters for locating doctors. beside using the location, other filters can also provide important informations about doctor

Availability​

  • 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 patient to reach due to distance and traffic.
  • Alternate days or few days a week availability is difficult to remember.
  • Clinic given small time slot by the doctors tend to be understaffed and Underequiped in comparison to clinics where doctors are available fulltime.

Location

  • Most of the successful Doctors are either independently practicing or associated with big hospitals.
  • ln case of specialistor super specialist required for 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 close locality should see be preferred

Hospitals​

  • Association of doctors with a hospital offers advantages of availability of addmision facility, in house radiology, emergency services which are usually not present in clinics.

Consulation fee

  • It often correlates with seniority,  experience and popularity of a doctor.
  • It also reflect on the long term cost of the treatment.

5. Data privacy and legal issues.

Personal data

  • Personal information” and “sensitive personal data or information” are protected as per government policies.
  • All companies use the non identifiable data for analysis  and research.
  •  You details may be share with sister companies engaged in selling drugs online, or ordering online tests etc.
  • Details are given in the “privacy policy” and “term and condition” of the website, usually available in the footer or header of the website.

Medical data.

  • 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 consultation.
  • in case of a medico-legal dispute, search website will not be involved.

Medico-legal issues

  • 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 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 emergency, but consult the hospital/clinic  directly.

Insurance

  • OPD expenses are covered under regular health cover or it can be added as a top-up 

Please share your comments bellow. please share the post , if you find it useful for others. 

Scientific studies report that most individuals (81%) say that they “learned something new” regarding their health, the last time they went online. The majority (80%) of people found the information through a search engine as reliable.

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