The COVID-19 pandemic has altered service delivery in a big way. Even services such as healthcare that rely heavily on in-person meetings have had to bow to the “new normal,” with practices being forced to embrace telemedicine.
If you are here because you have an upcoming virtual appointment with a healthcare provider, you are in the right place. We have provided six great ways to prepare for a telemedicine visit and make the encounter with your doctor more seamless and productive:
1. Get in touch with your insurer
To avoid being surprised by a hefty healthcare bill, it is worthwhile to get in touch with your insurer to know if you are covered for telemedicine. Many insurance companies have added telemedicine services to their coverage due to the Covid-19 situation, but it is worth the effort of getting confirmation from the horse’s mouth.
2. Prepare a list of questions
According to Seattle Pain Relief, creating a list of concerns beforehand is a crucial step even for in-person appointments. Jot down all the questions you have built up since your last appointment, and bring the piece of paper to the meeting. If it’s a chronic pain you are battling, you should have a pre-prepared list of questions to ask your doctor when it is your turn to speak. Ensure you have a pen, too, to tick off anything the doctor may answer before question time.
3. Take a photo
If you have a health issue with visible physical symptoms, consider taking a digital photo or video that your physician can use as complementary information. A photo can save you the hassle of explaining yourself and minimize the risk of costly misunderstandings.
4. Find a suitable room
Your physician will likely speak to you from their office or a private room within their practice. Give them the same convenience. Your telemedicine appointment should be held from a quiet, well-lit private room in your home or office. There should be minimal distractions from children and pets, and your signal should be strong enough for video conferencing. Invest in a good pair of headphones to enhance audio quality on both ends of the line.
5. Have a backup plan
You can never rule out the possibility of the technology freezing or your connection lagging mid-appointment. A backup communication channel will ensure the telemedicine visit goes on smoothly amid an unexpected turn of events. Have the doctor’s email or phone number at the ready, and let them in on how you plan to continue the communication in case the primary channel fails.
6. Prepare for an in-person appointment
There are cases where the physician has to examine or treat you in person. Bear this in mind when planning your telemedicine visit. Avoid scheduling travel at least until the visit is over in case there is an urgent need for you to make yourself available.
The full benefits of telemedicine can only be enjoyed if there is proper planning prior to a planned appointment. Follow the above tips to get the most out of your virtual meeting with your physician.