Pros and cons of Skype Consultations for patients and doctors
The latest cosmetic surgery trend: Skype consultations.
The surgical group Longevita offers Skype consultations for cosmetic surgery. This concept is revolutionary in the medical profession, and it has met a mixed review.
Benefits of Skype consultations
Waiting time: Skype consultations reduce waiting time for patients seeking face-to-face consultations. They simply wait at home until the doctor calls them on skype. This makes the first consultation much more convenient to the patients, if they like to choose this option.
More informed: Skype consultations can help patients become more informed before making a decision about surgery and deciding to come to the practice. The Skype consultation gives the patient peace of mind, they can ask any questions that are on their mind and they can get a more detailed understanding of what to expect from surgery, before traveling to a clinic.
Expansive patient network: Through Skype consultations the location of the practice is not a barrier anymore. Doctors can have a skype consultation with patients from far-away cities. With Skype consultations doctors are able to reach patients beyond the immediate geographic areas. Small private practices can especially benefit from this.
Less face to face meetings: Many conditions need careful examination and monitoring to document symptoms, condition and follow-up care. This can be done more carefully and completely when the patient is in the practice. It is easier to create a comforting relationship during in-house consultations, and they are important for loyalty and long term care.
Impersonal: While patients can ask any question they like via the Skype consultation, some patients are afraid of asking questions that will help them to understand the procedure. Sometimes, personal interaction is needed to overcome these fears. In a face to face consultation the doctor can better observe a patient’s reactions and ask them more detailed questions as a consequence of those reactions.
Privacy : You are talking to the doctor, but you are still using the internet. Any internet communication is subject to surveillance and recording, which isn’t something many patients may be comfortable with.
For me Skype consultations may offer some advantages for follow-up when good partnerships already exist but a good doctor-patient relationship is so important in cosmetic surgery that it will never replace face to face communication.