If you’ve never had a telemedicine visit and you’re the not-so-tech-savvy type, it can be quite hard to imagine what it will be like.
You’ll be glad to know that while a telemedicine visit (also known as virtual or telehealth appointment) may seem too sophisticated, the entire process is actually straightforward, and it only needs a little preparation. Even if it did require quite a bit of effort, if you come to think of it, the unrivalled convenience that comes with being able to speak with your medical provider right in the comfort of your own home, with just your smartphone or computer, makes the whole thing worth it.
If you’re on this page because you’re considering having a telemedicine visit with your family physician instead of an in-person appointment and you’re wondering how to prepare for it, read on to find out what you should be adding to your checklist.
A telemedicine visit, apart from the fact that it is done remotely, is just like a regular doctor’s visit, so you should call well ahead of time to arrange an appointment.
Once you’ve scheduled an appointment, the staff will send you details, such as how to use their platform or technology or reminders about your appointment. Keep your lines open and check your email or text messages every now and then for these details.
You want the camera on your device pointed directly at you. Adjust the volume, so you can hear well, and put all pets, children and other distractions out of the room.
Also, it is important that you make sure you have a stable internet connection and your computer or smartphone is fully charged.
Make sure your space is adequately lit, too. Do not answer phone calls and shut out all potential sources of interruptions during your appointment. Turn off the TV, radio, and other sources of noise.
Any Information You Think Your Doctor Should Know
Make sure you have your notepad, so you can jot down all any symptoms you have and any information your provider may have requested (e.g., your weight, temperature, or blood pressure).
When your family physician asks questions about your symptoms, family or personal history, or lifestyle habits (such as smoking, sexual practices, or drug or alcohol use), be honest and specific. Also, don’t be shy; ask away – even the embarrassing questions if you need to. Your family physician has heard it all and has your best interests in mind.
Also, write down care instructions or referral information your family physician may give you. Don’t rely on your memory. You may also want to include a trusted friend or relative in your telemedicine consultation to help you.
Telemedicine Visits with Your Family Medicine Physician in Fort Worth, TX
At Texas Medical Institute, Dr. Greg Gardner, our board-certified family medicine physician, strives to stay true to his commitment to providing the men, women, and children in his community with comprehensive and streamlined care. He offers telemedicine visits to give individuals and families – especially those in remote places or whose conditions or circumstances make an in-office appointment difficult – convenient access to his personalized care.