In the past few decades, internet has expanded beyond recognition. We can barely imagine our lives today without internet. With advances in fields like electronics and computers, information sharing with the help of internet has become faster and more reliable.
The growth of internet is hugely responsible for adding a new dimension to the rapid expansion of the medical tourism industry in the recent years. This growth has lead to easy online availability of verified and reliable information. Due to this, patients have now become highly independent in a way to analyse, plan and arrange for a cross-border medical treatment for themselves.
The constructive use of internet by the patients can help the patients to learn about and subsequently plan medical tours in a great way. The information found on the internet is reliable. It is way more faster than the same services being provided manually. Apart from these, it has many benefits that are listed below.
The internet gives widespread information on healthcare and medical procedures performed all across the globe. It has revolutionized medical tourism industry.
Medical patients can easily study the costs of various treatments and procedure in hospitals situated in different parts of the world with the help of internet search. The internet contains a large database of such information available from a number of reliable sources.
These cost statistics make it easy for the patient to think about other factors like visa costs, travel charges, budget limitations, etc. For people travelling to Thailand, choosing a cheaper yet reliable medical treatment helps the patient to save for travel and tourism.
The internet helps in early cost planning. With a cost estimate, a patient can determine ahead of time if the insurance will cover all the expenses and choose an alternative option if the case is otherwise.
The advent of internet technology has brought within our reach, what could have seemed unreachable earlier. Contacting hospitals or physicians anywhere in the world is extremely easy these days.
A patient can have direct conversations with the doctors and enquire about the method of their procedures, recovery period, post-operative complications, accommodation facility, food, etc. The best part about discussions over the internet is that they are never lost as they are saved on data servers and can be used for future reference.
A huge number hospitals are available around the globe and claim to provide quality ensured treatments. But how will you check if their claims are true?
There are international bodies which provide accreditation to the various hospitals. This acts as a certificate to substantiate the claims made by the hospitals. Accredited hospitals generally employ licensed doctors with the necessary qualifications. These qualifications for doctors and guidelines for the hospitals are made available over the internet by the concerned authorities.
A patient can check if a particular hospital complies to these rules and therefore select a reliable place for his/her treatment. S/he can also rest assured by the doctor’s credibility by looking up the value of the doctor's qualification over the internet.
With the passage of time, internet is becoming accessible to more and more people from diverse background and ethnicities. It is no longer limited only to the english speaking population, thanks to the web translation service providers like Google Translate, etc.
It does not matter in which language the information is available online. The patient can get a copy of the same information translated into his regional language. Talking to patients who have taken a particular treatment before also becomes easy and convenient.
Various online forums provide medical reviews and patient testimonials. Thus, internet cuts across through language and cultural barriers to ensure information access to everyone.
Most hospitals are going in for Electrical Medical Records(EMRs) to save time as well as to enhance the quality of treatment provided.
Manual maintenance and transfer of medical reports and patient history is always prone to errors. Important information relating to a patient’s treatment may get lost or misinterpreted due to human negligence and therefore result in complications.
Computer technology and internet have brought to us the concept of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). Softwares are used to record EMRs into databases which are then stored on Application Service Providers (ASPs). These ASPs also help in the easy and safe transfer of the medical documentation from one physician to another over the internet. In this way, the records are never lost and can be used for future reference.
Apart from contacting a physician in a distant land and booking an appointment for a treatment, the patients can also use the internet as a medium to get answer to their queries, reschedule appointments, etc.
The internet maintains records of previous discussions. The patient can review these at any point in the future and ask for any changes or adjustments in the travel or treatment plans.The information is conveyed in a speedy manner leaving enough time to implement the required changes.
Internet also helps the patient in keeping contact with the foreign doctor even after his return to the home country. This will aid the continuation of care and patient problem addressal.
Various online portals provide flight and hotel reservation services. These act as a mediator between the patients and the ticket issuing authorities of the hotels and airline system. A patient can choose from a number of options depending upon his/her requirements.
These service providers also have provisions for the patients to alter or cancel the reservations once made. Easy payment and payback options are also available. The patients can easily access these services with the help of a user friendly web interface.
As a patient it is always better to plan in advance and make reservations at least 12 weeks prior to the actual travel date. Advance online booking provides you with a variety of options to choose from and a chance to save a substantial amount of money.
Internet has clearly become an indispensable part of modern medical tourism. From contacting the doctor to booking the travel tickets, it does it all for you. If you plan on travelling overseas for a medical treatment, we recommend you to fully exploit the internet and get the best services.