COVID 19-Online Consultation

2 min read

By Dr. Chetan Ginigiri,MBBS(JIPMER), MD (PGIMER), Fellowship PICU (Kings College London)
Head of Dept – Paediatric & Neonatal services, Aster CMI Hospital
17 years of experience

Healthcare facilities across the world have been more or less compromised due to the COVID-19 outbreak, necessitating countries, including India, into a lockdown. The government instructs the hospitals to put off elective surgeries. It also advises the people should avoid going to hospitals for usual monthly medical checkups. This will put non-COVID patients in a tight spot. Many innovative technical options are rising in India to compensate for this gap. These online platforms make sure the patients get access to medical advice and care amid the lockdown.


Online consultation

As COVID-19 situation insists the people to stay indoors, the numbers of users accessing online medical consultation platforms are found to increase markedly. In online consultation, the patients can connect with the respective specialists by means of video conferencing platform, smartphone apps, and online management systems; the doctors can talk with the patients, see their medical records, diagnose the issue, and prescribe medicines 

How does online consultation works?

Usually, in an online consultation platform, there will be a panel of doctors specialized in different fields. Different online apps or service providers follow different methods to consult the patients. Typically,

  • Patients should enroll via Whatsapp number. They should  enter the name, age, and gender
  • They should also provide a short report on their health issue.
  • A video consultation link will be sent that directs the patient to an expert in the related department. 
  • Alternatively, some app lets the patient select a doctor and time, provide patient details including symptoms, and make a payment.
  • In this case, the doctor initiates a video call to the patient. After the call, the doctor provides a report with medication and a plan of care.

Online Consultation Etiquette. 

There are a few protocols to follow while you are heading for an online consultation.

  1. Kindly take the appointment and keep time. The slotted timelines are to be followed and do not exceed time with trivial questions. If it is likely that it will be an extended consultation – the doctor needs to know so that he can give you an appropriate time slot and not waste time for other patients logged in and awaiting their turn.
  2. Please ensure good connectivity, Good light, and sound. Try to minimize the interruptions and also avoid too much ambient sound that leads to undesirable and unnecessary confusion and repetition.  
  3. Old medical records and prescriptions should all be arranged chronologically for an easy reference.
  4. Always carry a pen and paper before starting the online consultation. There might be some advice or instruction to note down advice the doctor may give or ask you to refer and get back. 
  5. Prior to consultation – do preparation. Also, write down all doubts you want to clear so that there is no delay. For e.g., upload any picture of the infected area of the patient to show. Any reports you want to discuss. Sending these things prior will help to save a lot of time during an online consultation.
  6. Be civil, courteous, and modestly dressed for the online consult. 

We are moving fast towards a digital revolution – s few basic manners will go a long way of reducing the stress of not meeting the doctor physically. 

Stay home … Stay safe. 

Dr. Chetan Ginigiri,MBBS(JIPMER), MD (PGIMER), Fellowship PICU (Kings College London)
Head of Dept – Paediatric & Neonatal services, Aster CMI Hospital
17 years of experience

Dr Chetan Ginigeri is an experienced Pediatric Intensivist with national and international training. With 15 years of experience, he is one among very few Intensivists in India trained to take care of children who need/had organ transplants. He has been responsible for coordinating the Pediatric Organ Transplant program.Read more.

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