The Importance of taking a second opinion

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Getting a medical second opinion is never a bad idea, even though many people feel uncomfortable asking for them. When you face hard choices in medical treatment or while undergoing unknown diagnosis, seeking a second opinion from the best doctors of the specialty is always considered good. It not only helps the patients to make the right choices for their treatment and get assured with the right treatment they receiving, but also helps to save money and time.

Why do we need a second opinion?

Second opinion is a valuable resource especially in situations when you are faced with difficult health circumstances or choices during the course of your treatment. As mentioned in our previous blog, taking medical second opinion becomes very critical in situations such as when you are diagnosed with complicated health diseases like cancers or you have to go through some kind of major surgery or a complicated type of treatment procedure. In such condition you and your family have right:

  • To know and understand the various treatment options (other than surgery) and choices available to you.
  • To discuss about your queries and questions with another doctor.

First and foremost, we must understand that seeking a medical second opinion is legitimate. After all, we take second opinion in almost every aspects of our lives such as while getting  insurance policies, taking loan from banks, buying properties or during  shopping. Then why not to take one, when we have to take decisions regarding our medical treatment? Instead, the process of making decisions in medical care is far more complicated than taking decisions in purchasing or buying something and needs second opinion for sure! Certainly there are many valid reasons to seek a second opinion where the desire for reassurance before making a serious decision is the most important one.

Is getting a second opinion considered “BAD ETIQUETTE”?

Understanding our own body and the various treatment plans available, is very important before starting any treatment plan. One should not think that taking a second opinion from other physicians will offend our primary doctor; however, it will reassure you to receive the most appropriate therapy. Therefore, it is always said, two opinions are better than one, especially in medical treatments!

You have to keep in mind that taking a second opinion is a normal part of medical treatment procedures and they should not be concerned about hurting the feelings of the primary physician. And if you decide to obtain an independent second opinion, it is also necessary to communicate with the primary physician so as to keep him/her informed. Most physicians welcome the opportunity to have another consultant review and approve their opinions/decisions with a positive note.

Making the right decision

There are many benefits of getting a second opinion such as gathering more medical information, understanding different treatment option and if any new treatment options available, putting into place realistic and achievable goals and of course, reassurance and peace of mind that you are making the right decision. The bottom line is that at some point you must make the right decision and should not delay the treatment by just seeking information.

 Second opinion services at Texas Medical Concierge

We, at Texas Medical Concierge very well understand this dilemma of our patients. Through our priority access program, we provide second opinion by consulting with our best physicians and institutes for your medical diagnosis and treatment. By offering integrative healthcare solutions we empower YOU to make informed choices about your treatment options available, be it a cutting-edge modern medicine or traditional therapies. We, at Texas Medical Concierge, therefore very well understand, how crucial is for every patient to choose and undergo correct diagnosis and treatment to avoid potential fatal medical mistake.

 

Seeking a second opinion

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A medical second opinion is the process of obtaining an opinion from another doctor or physician to confirm the diagnosis and treatment plan provided by the primary physician. In other words, a medical second opinion is an opinion taken from another doctor (other than your regular doctor) about your health condition. There may be various reasons and situations in which people would like to seek second opinion from another health expert. Here are some of the reasons, when people would like to take second opinion:

  • When they have doubts about their diagnosis
  • When they are not satisfied or convinced with the treatment they have received or
  • When they are not comfortable in questioning their primary doctor or physician

In such conditions, it is very important to seek a second opinion from another doctor to clear one’s doubts and queries.

For which conditions should one take second opinion?

A medical second opinion can be taken for any health problem you suffering from but it becomes more critical in condition when one is diagnosed with complicated and serious medical conditions like cancers or has to undergo major surgery. As we know, with the development of new technology, drugs and therapies, diseases like cancers can be treated and cured more accurately and efficiently now.  However, at the same time it makes you more confusing with various treatment options available and complicated procedures involved. In such situation, it is always advisable to take a second opinion to clear your doubts and confirm that you are receiving the correct treatment procedure. Getting a second opinion in such condition will also help patient and his or her family members to understand the various options available and will help to make more informed and correct decision.

What are the FAQs during second opinion?

Asking questions about your medical condition will help you to understand your health condition much better and the subsequent treatment options available.

Following are some of the common FAQs asked during the second opinion:

  • Why should I require second opinion?
  • What are the other treatments options available to me?
  • Which treatments, or combination of treatments do you recommend? And why?
  • What is the goal of treatment you are recommending? How it will help me feel better?
  • What is the expected timeline for my treatment? Do I need treatment immediately?
  • What is the cost involved for the treatment?
  • What follow-up tests will I need and how often will I need them?

Before putting the queries and questions, you need to provide the complete medical information to doctor from whom you taking second opinion, which includes:

  1. Medical history and past physical examination results
  2. Medication list
  3. Lab test results such as cholesterol, blood sugar, etc.
  4. Images and reports like CT scans, MRI scans, angiograms, etc.
  5. Any procedure or operative reports

There are various benefits involved in taking second opinion such as it makes you assured about the diagnosis and treatment procedure you are going through and more importantly it gives you the various other treatment options to choose. To know more about the second opinion and its services at Texas Medical Concierge, please stay connected with us!

Telemedicine: A new horizon in public health

 

Telemedicine is a latest development in healthcare sector which include effective fusion of information and communication technologies with medical science to deliver best healthcare practices especially in rural and remote areas. Telemedicine can be conducted as simple as two health professionals discussing a case over the telephone, or by using satellite technology or video-conferencing equipment’s.

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In our previous blog, we explained how telemedicine works as an integrated healthcare network which uses modern telecommunication and information technologies to offer comprehensive medical services to a specific group. Due to its complex integrated process, initially telemedicine was considered as futuristic and investigational, but today it has grown into a reality.

Application of telemedicine in public health

Telemedicine applications are gradually reaching new heights with the development of technology. The following are some of its applications:

  • It gives a complete insight of geographical distribution and gradients in disease prevalence and incidence areas.
  • It provides valuable information of differential populations at risk based on risk factor profile.
  • It helps in computation of interventional planning and in assessment of various interventional strategies and their effectiveness.
  • It is an essential tool in real-time monitoring of diseases, locally and globally.

Role of telemedicine in developing countries like India

With the progress in science and technology in recent times, the telemedicine industry is growing rapidly especially in developing countries like India and is further expected to grow more. With a population of more than 1 billion residing in India, of which nearly 72.2 per cent live in rural areas, the Indian healthcare industry is facing many challenges in providing required medical facilities everywhere. Despite setting up of numerous medical centers both by Government and private, proper medical facilities are still lacking in many remote places in the country. The neglected rural patients have to travel long distances to cities and also spend additional expenses to get super-specialty medicare. Therefore, country like India having such a diverse landmass and enormous population has huge demand for telemedicine.

With various advantages which were mentioned in our previous blog, telemedicine has improved the efficiency of healthcare system of in small towns and remote places, and also reduced the cost incurred by patients towards travelling to big hospitals in cities. Telemedicine allows patients in remote locations to access medical expertise easily, quickly and efficiently with less cost.

Therefore after recognizing the huge need of telemedicine technology across the country, the policy makers have started implementing these services to strengthen the healthcare system within the country and to provide better healthcare facilities to masses.

Why telemedicine at Texas Medical Concierge?

Telemedicine technology has brought a new revolution to the field of medicine by using an electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical healthcare. In countries like India, telemedicine applications are primarily used to link healthcare providers with specialists, referral hospitals and tertiary care centers.

Texas Medical Concierge located at ITC Maurya, New Delhi has also incorporated this cutting-edge technology to overcome the distance barrier between the patient, doctors and specialists across the globe. Using high-definition video, advanced audio system and other peripheral medical devices, they provide super-specialized second opinions, tele-pathology and diagnostic services by collaborating with various national and international renowned specialist doctors at ITC Maurya telemedicine lounge, New Delhi.

Texas Medical Concierge is highly committed towards bridging the gap between their patients, doctors and specialist via modern telemedicine technologies. In order to know more about telemedicine options for you and your family, you can get in touch with us at http://www.texasmedicalconcierge.com/ or call at:91 11 4619 4444.

Telemedicine: breaking the barriers between the patient and the physician

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Definition of telemedicine

Telemedicine also referred as “tele-health” or “e-health” can be broadly defined as the use of telecommunications technologies and electronic information to support long-distance clinical health care services. The prefix comes from the Greek word, telos which means distances. Telemedicine allows doctors and physicians to study, evaluate and diagnosis various medical-related conditions of an individual, especially in remote area using telecommunication technology. Thus, telemedicine facilities mainly facilitate to overcome the geographical barriers between the patients and the doctors by providing quick and easy access to various health care services.

According to the Telemedicine Information Exchange (1997), telemedicine is defined as the “use of electronic signals to transfer medical data (photographs, X-ray images, audio, patient records, videoconference, etc.) from one site to another via the Internet, PCs, satellites, or videoconferencing telephone equipment in order to improve access to health care.”

Brief history of telemedicine

The concept of telemedicine may have originated from centuries ago. Researchers say that the information about bubonic plague during world wars was transmitted across Europe by heliograph (kind of signaling device by which sunlight was reflected from movable mirror). It is also known that the information regarding the causality lists and other medical supplies were transferred by telegraph which can be considered as one of the telemedicine services.

The current telemedicine systems began in the early 1960s when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) first introduced men in space. The various physiological measurements of the astronauts were telemetered from the spacecraft, which were enhanced by the development of satellite technology. These efforts lead to the development of telemedicine concept.

Advantages of telemedicine

  • Telemedicine is cost effective as the transfer of electronic information from one site to other is less expensive when compared to the transport of people.
  • Telemedicine enables immediate access to expert medical advice and opinions regardless of distance between the patient and the physicians.
  • Telemedicine enables more timely diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
  • Telemedicine allows people staying in remote locations to access expert medical advice quickly, efficiently and without travel.
  • Telemedicine allows local practitioners to consult with clinical experts of other hospitals or countries when needed which helps in better treatment.

How does it works? And what delivery mechanisms can be used?

As defined above, telemedicine involves transfer of medical information from one site to another via electronic communications devices. This enables health care providers to conduct two-way interactive video consultations and transfer of digital images such as X-rays and MRIs from one site to other. Telemedicine includes use of variety of applications and services that include two-way video, email, smart phones, wireless tools and other forms of telecommunications technologies.

Here are the various mechanisms through which telemedicine can be delivered:

Networked programs – These programs connects tertiary care hospitals and clinic with other community health centers in rural and suburban areas. These network links may use dedicated high-speed lines or the internet for telecommunications between sites.

Point-to-point connections- Hospital and clinics make use of private high-speed networks that deliver services directly to independent medical service providers.

Telemedicine monitoring centers –These centers are often used for cardiac, pulmonary or fetal monitoring, and related services that provide care to patients at home. They mainly use normal landline or wireless connections to communicate directly between the patient and the center.

Web-based e-health patient services – are those services which provide direct consumer outreach and services over the internet. Under telemedicine, these include those sites that provide direct patient care.