Should I Prepare for Telehealth Appointments?

Telehealth appointments
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Telehealth appointments rose in popularity and accessibility in 2020.

COVID-19 ushered in many changes.

Many businesses and restaurants increased their online presence.

Similarly, some healthcare professionals added telehealth appointments to their offerings.

According to an August Caring Bridge article titled “5 Tips to Prepare for a Telehealth Appointment,” how you prepare for your virtual appointment can make the process more effective.

Telehealth appointments can provide greater access to care.
Taking a few steps to prepare for your telehealth appointments can maximize your time with your physician.

What can you do?

Check your technology.

To meet online with a medical professional, you will need appropriate technology.

Think camera.

Whether you use your computer, tablet, or smartphone its camera allows your physician to observe your physical expressions and symptoms.

Without a camera, your appointment will be simply a phone call.

Whether the doctor uses Zoom, Skype, or some other video services, you should download the software and test it prior to the call.

Gather your medical information.

If your doctor sends you paperwork before your call, it is best to complete and return to your doctor the day before your telehealth appointments.

Often doctors asks questions about symptoms and onset during their appointments.

Think through and write down your answers to such anticipated questions and list your symptoms prior to the meeting.

This simple step will help you maximize your time.

Prepare to do your own physical exam.

You will likely need to take your own vitals.

Having a good scale, thermometer, and blood pressure monitor is important for accurate readings.

The day of your call you should measure and record your heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, respiratory rate, and weight.

Dress appropriately to be able to show the parts of your body involved in your complaints.

List your questions.

Before any telehealth appointments, you should write down all of your questions.

After you have brainstormed, you should prioritize your questions.

Place the most important ones at the top of your list and the least urgent at the bottom of your list.

Those you do not cover in the session can be asked at a future visit or in a follow up email.

Sit in a comfortable location.

On average, telehealth appointments last around 20 minutes.

The space you chose should be quiet and comfortable.

Keep water nearby to hydrate and visit the restroom before your call starts.

Although telehealth appointments are not suitable for all medical conditions, they can facilitate medical care for less severe illnesses and injuries.

Reference: Caring Bridge (Aug. 18, 2020) “5 Tips to Prepare for a Telehealth Appointment”

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