Telemedicine is a growing trend and many of us opt for this type of care. This is especially true in the midst of COVID-19. Every member of our family has had a virtual appointment with a health professional in the past year. If you are considering telemedicine, here are a few steps to help you prepare for your visit.
Check with your insurance company to ensure telemedicine is covered.
Don’t assume a current provider that accepts your in-office care is also approved by your insurance provider for a virtual visit. Treat a virtual visit as a “new” service that has to get approval.
Go to quiet spot without distractions
Think of virtual care the same as the in-office visit where you are typically alone with your provider. Create this quiet area to promote ease of care and conversation.
Secure the proper equipment to support your visit.
The visit could occur through video conference on a smart device or computer. You may also elect to visit by phone. If there is a specific app for your provider, make sure it’s downloaded and you are familiar with its features.
Prepare to speak with the nurse at the beginning of the visit.
Just like a face-to-face visit, you could have a short visit with the nurse before seeing the physician. They may ask you to provide your weight, blood pressure, describe your symptoms and list of medications (prescribed, over the counter and supplements). Make a list of concerns and medications well in advance. You don’t want to omit or misrepresent your medical information.
Make use of the Patient Portal
Most providers support the patient portal for patients to make payments, retrieve records, submit questions, and request refills. This is an excellent place to submit questions prior to the visit. This gives your provider a visual to work from during the visit. It also saves time and diminishes anxiety that can come with a visit to your doctor.
Capture the treatment Plan
Have a notebook or smart device in place to capture instructions and pertinent information from the visit. This also allows you to ask questions or repeat the information back to the provider to ensure you have clarity about treatment expectations and next steps.
Telemedicine is a tremendous benefit to our family. We hope these tips will assist you on your next virtual visit.