House Call Doctor vs. Teleconsultation Doctor in Modern Healthcare

8 January, 2024 Atlas Associates Clinic by Dr. Atlas Associates Clinic Atlas Associates Clinic All

The healthcare landscape in Singapore is rapidly evolving, adapting to new needs and technologies. With all the changes happening in healthcare, two different ways of seeing the doctor have become popular: house-call doctors and teleconsultation doctors. Each offers unique approaches to healthcare delivery, catering to different patient needs and preferences.

Introduction to House Call

Image by Freepik

House call brings the convenience of medical care right to your home, offering a personalised healthcare experience. It caters primarily to those who need help visiting traditional healthcare facilities, providing prompt medical attention and a tailored approach to patient care.

Advantages of House Call

  • Personalised Care at Home: 

    • Doctors bring healthcare to your doorstep, offering customised medical services in the comfort of your own home. This approach mainly benefits those with mobility issues or who prefer a more intimate healthcare setting.
  • Immediate Attention in Emergencies: 

    • House calls can provide prompt medical attention in urgent health situations, for instance, bed-bound elderly who suddenly present with weakness or symptoms like high fever and may be susceptible to viruses and bacteria present in hospitals. This is a crucial advantage over traditional healthcare settings where long waiting times occur.

Limitations of House Call 

  • Higher Cost: 

    • Generally, house calls might incur higher costs than teleconsultation services. The personalised care, transport costs and time away from the clinic must be factored in. 

While house-call doctors offer a convenient and personalised approach to healthcare, it may not be suitable for all patients or situations. As such, another emerging model of healthcare deliveryteleconsultationoffers an alternative solution.

Introduction to Teleconsultation Doctor

Telemedicine has grown, offering a digital solution to traditional healthcare visits. 

House Call Doctor vs. Teleconsultation Doctor

Image by Freepik

Advantages of Teleconsultation 

  • Convenient and Accessible: 

    • One of the biggest perks is convenience. Patients can access medical advice from anywhere, eliminating the need for travel and reducing time spent on healthcare.
  • Cost-Effective: 

    • Generally, cheaper as compared to in-person visits, teleconsultations can cut down healthcare expenses, especially for common acute illnesses such as colds, coughs, or follow-ups on routine health check-ups.

Limitations of Teleconsultation 

  • Lack of Physical Examination: 

    • The major drawback is the inability to conduct thorough physical exams, which can be critical for diagnosing certain conditions.
  • Technological Barriers: 

    • Not all patients are comfortable or familiar with digital technology, which can hinder their ability to use teleconsultation services.

Teleconsultation offers a convenient and cost-effective option for healthcare delivery but may not be suitable for all medical needs. Patients must assess their situation and preferences to determine which model best fits their needs.

Comparison between house call vs. teleconsultation 

In comparing house calls and teleconsultation, several vital aspects emerge:

Quality of Care

House call provides a more personalised experience, enhancing the quality of care. Teleconsultation, while convenient, may sometimes lack this personalised experience since doctors are unable to physically interact with the patient. 

  • Diagnostic Accuracy: 
    • Physical examination by a house-call doctor can lead to more accurate diagnoses in some cases. However, teleconsultations rely solely on patient-reported symptoms and visual assessments.
  • Patient Satisfaction: 
    • Satisfaction with house call doctors can be higher due to the personalised approach. But teleconsultation offers a better ease of access, appealing to patients who value convenience. 

Convenience and Accessibility

Teleconsultation offers unparalleled convenience, especially for those with busy schedules or limited mobility. House calls, while convenient, are limited by the availability of doctors.

  • Scheduling Appointments: 

    • Teleconsultation generally offers more flexibility and shorter appointment waiting times than scheduling a house call.
  • Travel Time and Waiting Periods: 

    • House calls eliminate patient travel time, but waiting periods can vary. Teleconsultations often have minimal waiting times.

Final Thoughts

House calls offer a unique and personalised healthcare experience in the patient’s home, ideal for those requiring immediate attention and a tailored approach. Teleconsultation, on the other hand, provides a convenient, accessible and cost-effective solution, especially for routine consultations and follow-ups. 

At Atlas Associates Clinic, we believe both types of consultations can coexist. Call us today and book your appointment with us.