Telemedicine and health care concept with a young man and a doctor on computer screen; blog: How to Get The Most Out of Your Telehealth Visit

During the pandemic, you need to stay home and practice social distancing to stay safe and healthy. However, you should not skip going to the doctor to get the medical care you need. That’s why telehealth visits are a great option for many patients. 

Telehealth allows you to see your doctor virtually instead of going into the office. If you want to avoid an in-office visit, ask your doctor if it is possible to have a telehealth appointment instead. If a virtual visit is appropriate, use these tips to get the most of your telehealth visit.

1. Make Sure Your Technology Is Set Up Correctly

Before your telehealth visit, your physician should send you information on the type of devices or software you need. Make sure you download any software and test it with your phone, tablet, or computer so you can make adjustments if needed. Make sure your device is charged before the visit and shut down other apps or programs that might send you notifications and interrupt the visit. Some programs that take up a lot of processing power may also slow down your computer, so shut those down before your appointment. 

2. Set Up In A Good Place

To have a productive telehealth visit you need to choose the right setting. You need somewhere that is quiet so you can talk to your doctor and somewhere where you have privacy. Also, make sure the location has a secure internet connection. While wired connections are best, most people have Wi-Fi that works as long as the connection is strong. The area you choose should be well-lit so your doctor can see you, especially if they need to see visible symptoms like a rash or bruise. Keep the camera at eye level so you can carry on a conversation with your doctor the same way you would in person.

3. Prepare For A Telehealth Visit As If It’s An In-Person Visit

When you are preparing for a telemedicine visit, act as though you are going to see the doctor in their office. Write down any symptoms you need to talk to your doctor about. Make note of any questions you want to be sure to ask. If you are seeing a new provider, have information about your medical history ready. That includes having a current list of medications you take and health conditions you’ve been diagnosed with.

4. Check With Your Insurance Company About Telehealth Coverage

Many insurance companies provide coverage for telehealth visits. Some have even made provisions to cover them during the pandemic so people can get the care they need without risking exposure to COVID-19. Additionally, some states have required insurers to cover telemedicine. However, not all insurers in all states cover these services. Avoid unexpected charges by finding out about your financial responsibilities for telehealth before your visit. 

5. Keep Needed Devices Nearby

If you have a medical device you’ll need during your appointment, then have it nearby so you do not have to interrupt the visit to retrieve it. Potential devices you may need include a scale, blood pressure monitor, glucometer, or thermometer. Or you can take any necessary readings from these devices right before the appointment and record them in case your doctor asks for that information.

6. Take Notes

It’s good to have paper and a pen or pencil ready during a telehealth visit so you can take notes on what the doctor says. This is especially important if your doctor prescribes a new medication. Since you will not get a physical prescription that includes instructions, you’ll need to make note of them.

7. Understand You May Need An In-Person Follow-Up

Telehealth visits are great for seeing the doctor without leaving the house. However, they are not appropriate for all patients or all conditions. During a telemedicine appointment, your doctor may decide that you need to have an in-person appointment as a follow-up. If this is the case,  bring your notes from the telehealth appointment to the follow-up visit. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, South Shore Orthopedics’ priority is keeping our patients and staff healthy and safe. Our office continues to operate on a daily basis Monday – Friday from 8 am – 4 pm and we have implemented CDC recommended procedures regarding temperature checks, social distancing, and face coverings. We have been focusing on seeing urgent or emergent cases in-office but have telehealth appointments for non-emergent cases. Click here to read our latest coronavirus update in its entirety. call our office at (781) 337-5555 to make an appointment.