4 things to ask your doctor about online healthcare

(BPT) - The COVID-19 pandemic changed how people think about healthcare. Interacting with your doctor has never been more critical, but now some or all of those interactions might occur online.

The ability to make appointments online and see your physician without leaving home has benefits. In fact, Chilmark Research estimates that by 2025, 15 to 25% of all primary care visits will be conducted virtually in the United States. As telehealth use grows and patients have come to expect more online services from their doctors, it's important to ask your doctor about available tools to help you stay connected and save time.

Explore the new age of care

One company leading the evolution in patient engagement technologies is NextGen Healthcare. The NextGen Patient Experience Platform can save time for healthcare teams and boost convenience for patients.

To ensure you get the best online healthcare access, experts from the company suggest you ask your doctor about:

  1. Online patient access: How does their patient portal work, and what features does it offer? Can you easily send a message to your doctor, request a prescription refill, access your personal health records and view lab results online?
  2. Online appointments: Can you schedule your own appointments online? Can you view your appointment history and modify existing appointments?
  3. Virtual visits: Do they offer virtual video visits (aka telehealth) for situations that don’t require an in-person office visit (e.g., refill requests, lab results or follow-up appointments)? Are they using a secure and HIPAA-compliant telehealth system? (HIPAA is a law that protects the privacy and confidentiality of patient health records and information.)
  4. Online bill pay: Can you see your balance and pay a bill electronically without having to call or send payment in the mail?

The future of the doctor-patient relationship

People are comfortable shopping online from their smartphones, tablets or computers. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, video chats with friends and family skyrocketed in every age category. Software platforms enable you to do almost anything from the comfort of home, and the same expectation now applies to healthcare.

The patient experience will continue to evolve beyond the confines of a traditional office setting. This growth of consumerism also means you have more choices for where and how you receive healthcare, and this will likely impact how you choose a doctor in the future.

Your health is your top possession. You can stay connected to your doctor and take an active role in your own health by ensuring your doctor’s practice offers digital patient engagement tools that make it easy for you to stay on top of your healthcare. Through technology, doctors and patients can be more aligned for even better overall health outcomes. Learn more at www.nextgen.com.