In the era of social distancing, more people in need of medical care are asking the question, “What is a Telehealth Visit?” For decades, the act of making and traveling to doctor’s appointments could be exhausting, especially with those patients with serious conditions. Make the appointment, wait for your date, arrive at the clinic 15-20 minutes before your appointment, sometimes wait at least twice that long to be seen, then see the doctor, and then drive all the way home. In this day and age, people’s time is in short supply, and the more doctors can do to help their patients is much welcome. So that begs the question: What is a telehealth visit?
What is a Telehealth Visit?
Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, is when a doctor makes an assessment and provides care during an appointment taking place on an internet video call, rather than an in-office visit. This term can also apply to those who can send and receive messages from their doctors through text, email, or other secure messaging methods. Telehealth appointments are a great option for many, including:
- Patients with physical or mental disabilities that make leaving home difficult or painful
- Elderly patients
- Parents or other adults with busy schedules
- Patients with contagious or ongoing illnesses
- Patients who live far from their doctors
Thanks to the need for social distancing and crowd control due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more practitioners are offering telehealth appointments. Many are planning to keep these services in place post-pandemic, due to the convenience and effectiveness of these services.
How Do I Set up a Telehealth Visit?
Check with Insurance
Before making your telehealth appointment, check with your insurance company to make sure telehealth is covered by your plan. Many states have required insurers to cover these visits, and Medicare currently generally covers them.
Make the Appointment
You can schedule a telehealth appointment like any other. Double-check with the doctor you have in mind to make sure they provide this service and set up a date and time to meet.
Keep a record of any and all symptoms you’ve experienced leading to the appointment so you can give the doctor as much information as possible. Write down what kind of symptoms and how long you have experienced each one.
Also keep a list of any pre-existing conditions you have and medications you are currently taking, especially if you are seeing this doctor for the first time.
Write Your Questions
If you have any health concerns, make sure to write them down before your appointment so you can remember to mention them to the doctor.
Computer Tips for Telehealth Visits
Use Strong Internet
You don’t want to be cut off from your doctor in the middle of your appointment, so make sure this session takes place somewhere with reliable internet. If you cannot do an appointment at home, many libraries have reliable wifi and private study areas that allow you to talk to those on the computer without interruption.
Test Sound Beforehand
One of the biggest delays of telehealth appointments is faulty sound. Either you or the doctor can be too quiet, too loud, or be cutting in and out, making the convenience of this communication worthless. Test out your headphone and microphone set up beforehand in your computer settings to make sure it runs smoothly.
Find Somewhere Quiet
Find a spot in or around your home where you will not be interrupted during your appointment by people or loud noises. Turn off any electronic devices to avoid distractions during your session, and consider putting pets or children in another room for privacy.
Test Devises Beforehand
Some providers use specialty apps or software to do their appointments securely, so make sure you are familiar with how to use these programs so you are not scrambling at the last minute. Download any necessary app at least a day in advance of your appointment, make sure you are logged in and do any e-pre checks that the office has assigned in the portal. Also, be sure to test how your camera picks up the lighting in your designated area, as doctors will need to see you clearly to conduct the appointment.
Online Intake with Mid City TMS
While TMS can’t be done at home because of the need for specialized equipment and supervision, Mid City TMS offers the telehealth option for your first intake visit. During this virtual consultation, you and Dr. Bryan Bruno will discuss if TMS treatment is right for you and then create a plan for your TMS sessions. Since this intake process can be done entirely online, our patients can prepare for their first round of treatment in the comfort of their own homes.
If you or someone you love has been suffering from depression and has found little or no relief, give us a call today to find out how TMS can treat those symptoms.