With your life racing at break neck speed, chances are you donâ€™t have time to sit all day in a doctorâ€™s office. Enter the high tech house call, where from the convenience of the computer in your home or office you have a video appointment with a doctor. You talk about your health problem via web cam and he prescribes medicine right then and there. No in-person appointment necessary.
Doctors Express, (previously mentioned here, here and here) the first ever national franchise of urgent cares, is test piloting this new technology called MeMD â€“ a high tech and convenient way for patients to â€œseeâ€ a doctor and have him prescribe medicine without going into the office for a physical exam. Itâ€™s one more way Doctors Express Urgent Care Centers are answering the countryâ€™s demand for quick, convenient and affordable health care.
â€œWe want to be at the forefront of virtual healthcare technology,â€ says Dr. Scott Burger, co-founder of Doctors Express who is using MeMD in his urgent care facility in Towson, MD. â€œMeMD is for patients who wants the opinion of a doctor but donâ€™t have the time or arenâ€™t sure their medical issue is critical enough to go in and see the doctor.â€
How It Works
Say your son has a rash and you want to know if itâ€™s serious, but youâ€™re not able to bring him into see the doctor right away. You would connect with the system online and it will direct you to a Doctorâ€™s Express office, or another office that is a provider of MeMD services. A Doctors Express physician will receive a notice on their office computer that a patient is waiting. The doctor and patient are connected by a PC Web Cam. The parent can then chat with the doctor and show him the rash. The doctor can then make the assessment as to: get to a Doctors Express or your physician right away, go to an ER, get a topical first aid cream at the pharmacy, or donâ€™t worry about it, etcâ€¦.
â€œVirtual visits can never completely replace the care of a physical examination,â€ says Dr. Burger. However, it is a valuable resource for patients who know what theyâ€™re suffering from and want a quick consult and prescription for minor ailments such as sinus infections and rashes. If we canâ€™t diagnose the problem via webcam, we ask the patient to come in. We donâ€™t take any chances.â€
Benefits Of MeMD
- Provides convenience to patients, especially those in rural areas.
- Great for patients looking for a second opinion.
- Saves the patient commuting time and gas money â€“ visit your doctor during your lunch break without having to leave the office or your home.
- Physicians can consult patients AND E-PRESCRIBE â€“ prescribe medicine over the internet and can pick up the prescription at their local pharmacy.
- Costâ€“effective for patients and businesses â€“ The cost to patients for this service is $40. If they are local and come into the Doctors Express for additional treatment, Doctors Express will apply that $40 towards the patientâ€™s co-pay, co-insurance or deductible.
- If you dial into the internet and you wait more than sixteen minutes, Doctors Express will automatically connect you with another provider. Theyâ€™ll lose your business and give you to another doctorâ€™s office so you get â€œseenâ€ quickly.
Photo by Laughing Squid.