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  1. #1

    Would you use Skype for a doctor's appointment?

    Would you use Skype for a doctor's appointment?
    by Andrea Bellemare, CBC News
    August 27, 2012

    Doctors in the U.K. are trying out a new way to meet with patients in order to cut down on the number of missed hospital outpatient appointments. A test study at the Newham University Hospital saw doctors talking with diabetic patients by Skype - and that resulted in an 11 per cent drop in missed appointments.

    According to Department of Health, over 5.5 million appointments were missed in the U.K. last year. The Telegraph reported that missed appointments could cost the U.K.'s National Health Service the equivalent of ?800 million a year, or about $1.25 billion.

    The Telegraph also reported that patients there aren't charged for missed appointments.

    The U.K. Department of Health also recommended that hospitals text patients to remind them of appointment times.

    Could it work in Canada?

    In some provinces, like Manitoba and Saskatchewan, doctors already meet with patients in remote areas by secure video link, although the programs still require patients to go to a local healthcare site to access the video link.

    And many provinces including, Ontario and B.C. already have Telehealth programs. The Ontario Telehealth program gives access to a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    So what do you think?

  2. Re: Would you use Skype for a doctor's appointment?

    I think what ever a connection a person could have to medical help is a good move especially for ones that find it so hard to get out to appts. like the elderly and the pt with no transportation or pt with anxiety I think at times i would use it as it would be another connection to help

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    North American lakes and rivers

    Re: Would you use Skype for a doctor's appointment?

    We have Telehealth here in Alberta as well and although I've never used it many of my friends have. As for Skype, i think there are numerous benefits for both physician and patient, including cost and accessibility. I would be inclined to use it for things that don't require any physical exam, such as medication refills, follow-ups, referrals, etc. my doctor is a 45 minute drive when there's no traffic and I'd love to not make that drive if I didnt have to.

    Technology is definitely paving the way for things previously unheard of. As long as safety, efficacy, assessibility, and costs are balanced, I'm open to it.

  4. #4

    Re: Would you use Skype for a doctor's appointment?

    Through the blogging world, of which I am much involved in daily, I started reading and commenting on a blog of an English psychologist living in Germany.

    He runs a 'thriving' online therapy service either via phone or Skype and he offered to speak to me when somebody had committed suicide here in the hospital and it very much affected me.

    I called his office number from my cellphone as even though I knew this would be a large cost, I needed to do it.

    When I called, there was no answer.

    An hour later I got a call back from him and we spoke for 20 minutes or so and I found it quite helpful.

    Getting an outsiders perspective and professional opinion cut out my need to try and get that here at the hospital. It really helped ground and calm me.



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