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What you need to know before your first online doctor visit

Almost every part of our life is done online. We shop, date, bond with friends and entertain ourselves online. It makes sense that we start taking online doctor appointments, too! 

If that sounds strange or maybe even a little scary, there’s no reason to be nervous. An online doctor visit is designed to make your life easier and simpler without sacrificing any of the care you’ve come to expect.

Here’s all the information you need to know about an online doctor visit including how to schedule one, what to expect during an appointment, and how to make sure you get all your questions answered.

What is an online doctor visit and how does it work

An online doctor appointment is similar to any standard doctor visit you’ve experienced. You schedule your visit if you’ve got a medical concern, you see your doctor, and then you leave with a treatment plan.

The main difference is an online doctor visit is catered to you. We put your convenience and your schedule first. You can schedule an online doctor visit on your terms — no leaving work early or struggling to find extra time in your schedule for a commute to the doctor. Take your appointment wherever you are, when it’s convenient for you.

All online doctor visits are private, secure and HIPAA compliant

Convenience is great, but not at the cost of your most private information. Just like an in-person appointment, all online doctor visits happen between you and your doctor in a private room.  None of your answers will be shared with any outside parties, unless necessary for your health. Your online doctor visit will also be done over a completely secure network, so there is no outside threat to your privacy.

Any Nao Medical online doctor visit you have is also HIPAA compliant. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act creates regulations that protect a patient’s privacy and health information. The HIPAA Privacy Rule made standards across the country that kept your health information confidential and the Security Rule extends those standards to digital health records.

No matter who you schedule an online doctor visit with, make sure that facility is upfront and transparent about their HIPAA compliance. It’s the only way to keep yourself and your records safe.

Online doctor appointments are focused on you

The convenience and personalized experience of an online doctor visit go beyond the easy scheduling. With an online doctor, you get the uninterrupted focus of your doctor for your entire visit. No need to worry about another patient taking priority over you and your concerns. Unlike emergency rooms, you will be seen at the time of your appointment, not when your doctor can make time for you.

What to expect during an online doctor visit

During your online doctor appointment, you can access your doctor with your smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer. Each will offer a unique experience, but none will give you any lower quality care from your doctor. 

Make sure that you have access to a device with video functionality as it will help your doctor understand the medical concern you have. After the initial technological setup, you can expect the appointment to run the way you’d expect. Your doctor will cover your history, diagnose you, and give you a treatment plan.

Patient history

Your online doctor needs the full picture of your health history in order to give you an accurate diagnosis. If your symptoms and concerns are more than a common cold or cough, be as detailed as possible when describing your history. Lifestyle factors may not seem important, but they help your doctor find the right conclusion when they are trying to get you a diagnosis and get you healthy.


Most of the time, you will leave your online doctor visit with a diagnosis from your doctor. Of course, some patients may have something more severe going on, in which case, your doctor will ask you to come in or refer you to a specialist. But for most people, you will get an accurate diagnosis from your doctor by the end of your visit. 

We encourage you to ask as many questions as you have after hearing your diagnosis. We want you to walk away from your appointment feeling like you got the best possible care.


After the diagnosis, your doctor will talk to you about treatment options. In most cases, you can expect some medication or prescription to help manage your symptoms and treat your illness. For patients with physical ailments, your doctor might give you a physical therapy treatment plan or some exercises to do while you’re at home.

No matter what your treatment plan is, we guarantee that it will be personalized for you. If you feel uncomfortable with anything your doctor prescribes, talk to us. We’ll work with you to find the best treatment plan for you and your situation.


You can expect your online doctor visit to end with a prescription. At Nao Medical, we will send your prescription directly to your preferred pharmacy, so it’s convenient for you to pick it up. It’s as easy as that!

Prescription restrictions from your online doctor

There are some restrictions to what your online doctor can prescribe. Controlled substances are prohibited from being prescribed to patients online. If you require one of the following medications, you’ll have to come in to see a doctor in person:

  • Medicinal marijuana
  • Narcotics like Vicodin or morphine
  • Stimulants like Adderall
  • Sleep aids like Xanax
  • Antipsychotic medication like Seroquel

Some online doctors may also be unable to prescribe lifestyle medications like Viagra, so make sure to ask about those, if applicable, at the beginning of your appointment to make sure that you’re making the most of your time.

Limitations of an online doctor visit

An online doctor visit does have some limitations beyond just prescriptions. For physical injuries, we encourage you to come into one of our Nao Medical urgent care locations. Rashes and skin irritations can usually be diagnosed and treated during an online doctor visit, but broken bones, cuts, and burns require treatment from a doctor in person.

Where to schedule an online doctor visit

Book an appointment for your first online doctor visit. Pick from the available time slots and we’ll follow up with directions on how to sign in and start your online doctor appointment.

Need immediate medical care? Book an online doctor visit nao!

Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered, construed or interpreted as legal or professional advice, guidance or opinion.

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