Would you use skype to seek medical attention?

All Night Long by bitzcelt, on Flickr
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9 thoughts on “Would you use skype to seek medical attention?

  1. There are many times, especially with my kids where I have medical questions- fever, illness, stepped on a nail etc. I call the health line- who are very helpful- but always recommend seeing a doctor. My questions are usually after medi-clinics are closed and I would rather skype someone as opposed to waste a doctor’s time in the ER.

  2. This seems like a great idea. I agree with sjphipps. I use the Health line, and while I agree that they are helpful, they do always recommend that you see a doctor as soon as possible. If I could Skype someone and have an answer right away, I know that I would definitely sleep better (because it seems that emergencies only seems to happen at night).

  3. But will our medical doctors have the time to Skype? Some don’t even return phone calls. Is this practical? I would not want to Skype with a medical professional who has not taken even vital signs. That sounds so basic, and it cannot be readily accomplished online. If I had a question for my own medical professionals and they had the time to Skype, that would be another story. Moreover, given confidentiality of medical records, do we really want to Skype for advice? Also, isn’t treatment something that needs to be done in person? Is it safe for a doctor to write a prescription just be conferring with a patient online. Think about malpractice insurance. As much as I am a techie, I see too many medical and legal issues with doing an appointment via Skype with a medical profession. Sure, replying to a blog is one thing, but think of the dangers of seeking medical advice online!

    • Thank you for your comments Judy. I believe that if Skype were to be used, there would definitely be guidelines in place for the health care professional to make decisions about the appropriateness of its use. In Saskatchewan, we can be in contact with a nurse online or by telephone (healthline is available both ways) to advice related to health questions. We are also utilizing telehealth in which vital signs are transmitted and the patient may or may not be in the same room with a health care professional as they may live in remote areas. For these situations, practice and legal issues are being discussed for health care professionals who not “see” the patient.

      I think it is important to start a discussion as one day we may be able to Skype.
      I agree that it would not be appropriate for every situation.

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