What to Expect on a Telehealth Appointment

One of the ways we are adapting to social distancing is with telehealth. Whether it’s requesting a prescription for a pre-existing condition or seeking advice on your symptoms, telehealth makes medical consultations more convenient for patients and physicians.

What is telehealth?

Telehealth aims to deliver health care services and overcome geographic barriers using digital information and communication technologies. It allows you to speak with your doctor in the comfort of your own home, using mobile devices, tablets, computers or telephones.

Some of the services covered in telehealth include virtual visits, counseling, medication management, behavioral health services, health screening and remote patient monitoring. Telehealth is also known as telemedicine.

What to Expect on a Telehealth Appointment

If you’ve recently booked or are planning to schedule a telehealth appointment, the following points can give you an idea about what to expect and/or how to prepare for your visit.

1. Before the Appointment

  • Equipment

    For a successful telehealth visit, you should ideally have a high-speed internet connection and video access through a computer, smart phone or a tablet. Make sure to coordinate with your doctor’s office about his/her preferred platform, and see what works for both ends.

    Download any app that you and your doctor would use to connect. If you do not have access to the internet, please inform your doctor ahead of time so both of you can use the phone instead.

  • Paperwork

    Just like the process when visiting the doctor’s office, you may have forms to fill out before the appointment. Be sure to fill out all the necessary information, and be ready to discuss your medical history, to avoid delays.

  • Insurance

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid expanded their telehealth coverage during this pandemic. Call your health insurance provider before your appointment, to confirm telehealth coverage.

2. During the Appointment

  • Setting

    Find a quiet place where you can have an uninterrupted talk with your doctor. Be sure the lighting is good as well, facing the light, so the doctor can clearly see you on video.

  • Discussion

    The telehealth appointment is similar to what would happen in a face-to-face medical consultation. Your doctor will ask about your condition, symptoms, medical history and more. Based on your discussion, he/she may prescribe medicine or recommend potential tests, procedures or other treatment options.

  • Notes

    Doctors usually send a summary note and prescription after the appointment, but we still recommend you to take down notes as a backup.

  • Accountability and Support

    Depending on your medical concerns, it might be helpful to have a family member or a friend with you on the call. This person can help you raise all of your concerns, take notes and/or serve as your support.

  • Privacy and Security

    You don’t have to worry about your privacy and the confidentiality of your health information. Our hospitals and physicians are committed to protecting you, and in fact, are recommended to use platforms specifically designed for telehealth.

  • Next Steps

    Your doctor’s recommendations will depend on your condition. You may be advised to have a physical exam or even go to the ER. The key is to follow your doctor’s instructions to stay on track.

Final Thoughts

While you can still safely come to the doctor’s office, hospital or ER during an emergency, it can be a good idea to use telehealth services for less severe conditions. Telehealth helps keep those pre-existing conditions safely at home. And for everyone, it also offers a more convenient access to care. No driving required!

Keep safe!

Book a Telehealth Appointment Now

U.S. News
World Health Organization

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