With the coronavirus pandemic, no one wants to sit elbow to elbow in a doctor’s office full of sick patients. For this reason, many medical offices have closed their physical doors to people seeking care.
However, you can still get the medical care you need from your physician. Now you can use telehealth services to get the healthcare you need, as long as you have an internet connection or phone. Without the risk of potential exposure to other sick patients. Here’s what you should know about how telemedicine appointments work.
What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine refers to the diagnosis and treatment of patients through telecommunication systems. For example, instead of physically driving to your doctor’s office on Main Street, you may simply use a smartphone or computer to connect with your physician.
What are the Benefits of Telemedicine?
Telemedicine appointments make it more convenient to access the healthcare you need. You don’t have to have someone drive you across town. You can easily access the care you need from the comfort of your couch. Plus, there’s the obvious benefit of not having to crowd into an office full of people during a global pandemic.
How Should I Prepare for My First Telemedicine Visit?
Telemedicine doesn’t have to be stressful. Here’s how you can prepare so that your visit goes as smoothly as possible.
Make Sure You Have the Option to Use Telemedicine
First, verify that your medical office provides telemedicine (sometimes called an e-visit) option. Or, if you’re looking for a new physician, call to confirm they do. You also want to verify that your insurance or medicare plan covers these types of appointments.
Next, make sure your computer or smartphone is connected to the wifi. Turn off other programs running on your computer to make sure your connection is strong. You may also want to have a charger available nearby if your computer or phone runs low on battery.
Choose the Right Space for Your E-Visit
It’s critical to choose a suitable space for your call. Health is often a private matter for most of us, so you don’t want to have your visit in a common area with large groups of people. You also don’t want to strain to hear what your doctor has to say.
Opt for conducting the appointment in a relatively quiet area, like your living room. Or, if you have a noisy dog, the bedroom may be preferable to eliminate excess noise and distractions. Ensure you have plenty of lighting so that the doctor can see you during your call. In addition, you may want a notepad nearby to write down any questions you may have or notes you want to take during the appointment.
What if I Have Trouble Connecting to the Call?
If you’re unable to connect to the internet or the e-visit itself, double-check that you’re connected to the wifi. You may have to exit the call and try again. Technology can be daunting sometimes, so if you’re overwhelmed, ask a trusted friend, caregiver, or family member to sit in on the visit with you to assist you with any technical issues.
Telemedicine makes accessing the healthcare you need easier than ever. By following these simple steps, you can have a smooth, safe visit with your physicians from the comfort of your own home.