Let's face it, life can be busy. Whether you are taking care of the kids, traveling for work, or just do not have enough time in a day. Just because you're busy, does not mean you should skip seeing the doctor. But sometimes just the time you have to wait in the office deters you.

Now, people with extremely busy schedules can still see the doctor. How? With their cell phones. We recently wrote a post on Apples's HealthKit app and how patients can be in front of their health. Technology and the way we deal with our health has really changed in the last few years. 

According to an article in The Washington Post, patients can now see UCLA Health System doctors on their cell phones, computer or tablets. LiveHealth Online. According to Samuel Skootsky, chief medical officer of UCLA Faculty Practice Group and Medical Group, "there is a need for the entire health-care industry to be a lot more responsive to what patients want...one way to do that is to have multiple channels of access to doctors". 

LiveHealth Online operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and while a doctor is not always present there are other certified nurse practitioners available. The doctor can remotely prescribe medications and has access to medical records and the patients will also be able to send these records to their primary doctor.

This new way of having an appointment with a doctor is revolutionary, but could this work? Patients are talking to a doctor via web chat, face to face, but no physical contact. When the patient is telling their symptoms to the doctor, the doctor will have to decide whether or not they can treat them remotely or if they have to come go in a see a doctor. Sounds good enough. But, what if someone calls about a simple neck pain and the doctor just prescribes pain medication and it turns out to be something else? 

The doctors have to rely heavily on the patients' descriptions and guiding them with flashlights and cell phone lights. While this is a great and innovative way for people to see the doctor, there are going to be some limitations. As long as the doctors know this and do not hesitate to tell a patient that they cannot be diagnosed via web cam and have to go in to see their primary doctor, it could have potential to work extremely well. 

Whether seeing the doctor in person or via web chat, make sure you are always in front of your health and health care. Being persistent with your doctor and checking up on your doctor and results is one way you can do your best to avoid medical mistakes and misdiagnosis. And to learn more about preventing medical malpractice, order a copy of our free report.  We've compiled a lot of common and repeated mistakes we've seen in the healthcare system over the years that have caused serious harm to patients.

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Frank R. Kearney, Attorney-at-Law
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Experienced DC Workers' Comp, Long Term Disability & Accident Lawyer
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