As the nation and global community struggle to contain the unexpected COVID-19 calamity, there is one saving grace that has lessened some of the pain: the Internet. The worldwide pandemic has not conquered the World Wide Web, and that has allowed space for normal life to happen virtually, from e-commerce and distance learning to telecommuting and telemedicine.
State-of-the-art medical practices are ready to continue serving patients during this difficult time with online options that make possible detailed consultations and recommendations for surgical procedures. Below, experienced San Diego plastic surgeon Dr. Carlos Chacon of Divino Plastic Surgery answers some of the questions that patients commonly ask as they prepare to replace the waiting room with the webcam.
What does a virtual consultation involve?
Virtual consultations happen on digital screens, and beyond. Such consultations can be as old-school as a telephone conversation or an exchange of emails. More typically, they involve a patient interacting directly with the doctor with a video chat using Zoom, FaceTime, Skype or GoToMeeting. The visual component of the virtual consultation is especially important when discussing plastic surgery, as a doctor needs to evaluate the aesthetic profile of a patient before recommending a surgical solution.
Is this complicated?
Dr. Chacon and his staff have worked hard to make the experience as convenient as possible. The process begins by calling the office to make an appointment for your online visit. After you schedule a time, we will send you a link by email or text. Once you click on that link, you are transported into a virtual waiting room. When the doctor or the patient care coordinator is ready, the consultation will begin. It is important to have your webcam on at this point, so your doctor can make informed recommendations based on a visual examination and the photos you have submitted.
Will my privacy be preserved in a virtual consultation?
Whether in-person or online, all doctors have legal and ethical obligations to protect patient records and confidentiality. The consultation is between you and your medical professional, and no recordings are made or stored. Dr. Chacon is likely to take notes the old-fashioned way, via pen or keyboard, to preserve his understanding of your case and your preferences. Our office also uses the most secure online platforms available, for the maximum possible privacy, security and peace of mind.
To schedule a virtual consultation with Dr. Carlos Chacon, please contact Divino Plastic Surgery today.