With the rise and expansion of telehealth medicine services, more and more physicians are turning to digital appointments to stay connected with their patients — with telehealth adoption considered the #1 IT priority by two-thirds of professionals in the next three years. The world of telehealth encompasses medical care via online chat, phone calls, and video calls. Doctors can diagnose, prescribe medication, and treat a range of medical conditions digitally. However, talking to a doctor can be stressful already, and throwing in a video conference on top of that stress can make it more of a challenge. Here are our best tips to keep in mind when talking to a doctor online.
Before Your Telehealth Appointment
Getting ready for your appointment is paramount to have a successful call. Make sure you download any software or app needed to talk to your doctor online. Most doctor’s offices will send you the instructions ahead of time.
Usually, the physician sends a link to your email address that directs you to a virtual waiting room, where you’ll wait for the doctor’s video connection to start. This connection is secure and uses software designed to maintain all patient-doctor confidentiality agreements and keep your personal information safe.
Before your appointment, make sure you:
- Check your wireless connection: Make sure the connection you’re using is strong, whether you’re using your phone or computer.
- Write down any questions you have: Because this is a new setting, it can be easy to forget common queries or things you wanted to discuss with your doctor.
- Have any medical equipment handy:The doctor might ask if you can check your blood pressure or temperature.
- Join the meeting a few minutes early: Connecting ahead of time will help you troubleshoot if you have connectivity issues.
During the Video Call with Your Doctor
At first, it’s normal to feel awkward. After all, this is an unfamiliar setting for many patients, and even for some doctors. Try to think of this as any other in-office appointment. Follow the prompts and questions the doctor asks and answer as you would in their office.
Make sure you’re in a private environment while you attend the call, remembering that you’re discussing medical issues. Consider using headphones to make sure you can hear the doctor clearly and that your doctor’s orders aren’t overheard — and don’t forget to turn on your microphone so they can listen to you as well.
Be as honest and transparent as possible about your symptoms with your doctor. Remember, because this is a video call, they won’t be able to analyze your symptoms such as shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing as they would at the office, so be as descriptive as possible. Don’t be afraid of asking intimate questions; remember that the call is safe and secure.
After Your Telehealth Appointment
Most likely, after your call, your doctor will order some testing to diagnose your condition. While doctors might be able to diagnose a cough or an allergy over video chat, some medical conditions might require further testing. In this scenario, the doctor’s office will follow up to help you set up the next appointments.
Write down any notes and suggestions from the doctors, and follow up on prescriptions if needed. Then, if you have any questions, don’t forget to reach out to your provider. Now, more than ever, telehealth is allowing almost 24/7 connectivity with a medical provider.
Benefits of Telehealth Services
Most virtual health visits show a high percentage of patient satisfaction, with the majority of clinical professionals noticing a 35% improvement in patient outcomes and a 31% increase in patient satisfaction. Also, the vast majority of physicians believe that it expands their access to patients, allowing for more efficient use of time for both doctors and patients. Furthermore, it reduces healthcare costs for everyone involved.
Eventually, you may find that you, as a patient, may feel more comfortable and at ease in your home versus a hospital or doctor’s office.
Today, many healthcare providers are tapping into the power of telehealth medicine. VidyoConnect is a leading conferencing service, offering on-premises solutions, and platform-as-a-service for healthcare market leaders, helping them stay connected and at the forefront of online medicine.