7 tips to make the most of your phone consultation

A doctor phone consultation is increasingly becoming a common phenomenon today, particularly with the global pandemic paying regular visits. Medical consultation by phone is being encouraged by healthcare providers, doctors, and establishments. Patients are being guided towards booking doctor consultations over the phone. There are numerous advantages to this entire system or process. Virtual consultations help keep healthier patients away from those who are ill, and doctors will remain safer while offering medical care likewise. The sheer number of video-based visits booked in the telehealth space has exponentially increased ever since the onset of the global pandemic. As per reports, primary care consultations increased by a whopping 30% virtually between 2005-2017. From March this year, this has increased by 50%. 

More people now have access to over-the-phone doctor consultation services and telehealth solutions. Agreed, in-person consultations do have their benefits. However, booking a GP on call online may also help get prescriptions, tackle pressing issues, get follow-up advice, treatment, and diagnosis. In addition, you can readily speak to a doctor on the phone or through a video call, irrespective of whether you want a regular consultation or have any immediate health requirements. 

Now that you know what’s a consultation from a doctor, here are 7 tips that will help you maximize and leverage your phone consultation to the hilt. 

Tip 1- Ensure that your tech infrastructure is properly functioning- For a successful doctor phone consultation, ensure that your internet connection is reliable and that your laptop or smartphone is working properly. Those finding it tough to set up an entire desktop may choose their smartphones which come with a microphone and video facilities incorporated into the device. 

Tip 2- Make sure that your symptoms are well documented- The key towards productive medical consultation by phone is suitable documentation of all your health symptoms. List them all out, mentioning when they began, how they started, how long they were present, any medicines you consumed earlier, prescriptions, and the last dosage date. For recurring health problems, make a list of the same as well. This will help in saving a good deal of time and energy for both parties. 

Tip 3- Always have recent prescriptions in close range- Before sitting down for your doctor consultation over the phone, keep all your current prescriptions handy. Most doctors will ask for your recent supplements, vitamins, and medicines prescribed earlier, with their dosages and names. The doctor should also be informed about all medication you consume periodically or regularly, including cough syrups, tablets, or pills for headaches. 

Tip 4- Create a Health Summary- If you are undertaking an online consultation for the first time, you may find it handy to write down your health summary. Then, the doctor will not have to spend a lot of time asking some fundamental questions. You can write this via bullet points, i.e., your allergies, earlier surgeries, prescription details, medication, issues, medical and family history, recent diagnosis or tests, and so on. 

Tip 5- Create your list of questions- Before touching base with a GP on call, list out the questions you wish to ask them. Write about anything you want to discuss and prioritize questions as per your current or immediate needs. For example, questions regarding medication and symptoms should always have the highest priority as per recommendations. 

Tip 6- Sit down in a quieter area of the house- Medical discussions are private affairs between your doctor and you. Find a more peaceful place at home where there will be no distractions and interruptions during your consultation. Do not take this consultation when you do things like shopping, household chores, or even driving. 

Tip 7- Running notes may help greatly- Like all consultations, plenty of aspects will be undoubtedly covered. Make use of pen and paper for writing down what the doctor is saying. These notes will help you figure out things later on, particularly when thinking of following up. This will also help you plan out medication, treatment, and other aspects. 

Doctor consultation over the phone is not very different from regular in-person appointments. However, a few smarter strategies will help you maximize the same while enabling a more productive and successful meeting with the doctor.