A Patient’s Guide to Telehealth

“9 Tips for Telehealth Success”

Schedule an appointment.
Call your doctor’s office and select a time that works for you. Dress comfortably, find a quiet place to talk and be prepared when the call comes. Have a pen and paper ready to jot down useful advice.
Prepare your technology before the appointment.
Many patients just use their smart phones with FaceTime ability. Others use a computer, laptop or tablet. If you need assistance, ask a friend or family member to help you set up your technology and/or to download/install any programs or apps.
Think about what you want to discuss.
Plan for your appointment by writing down what’s most important for you to discuss. Write a list of any symptoms you are having and also what questions you want answered.
Keep a written list of all of the medicines you are taking.
Some people even place their medications in front of them to show the doctor during the visit. Don’t forget vitamins and supplements.
Be an active participant.

Take your own measurements before the call.

Useful home equipment:

  • Bathroom scale — Check your weight
  • Thermometer — Check your temperature
  • Simple watch or wearable device (Fitbit or Apple Watch) — Check your pulse
  • Home blood pressure machine — Check your blood pressure
  • Home glucose monitor — Check your blood sugar
  • Home oxygen finger monitor — Check your oxygen saturation

Before your appointment, ask the office staff what equipment is right for you.

Avoid interruptions and distractions.
Find a private place to talk and give your doctor your undivided attention. Don’t forget to turn off your TV. If needed, put your hearing aids in.
Remember the name and location of your favorite pharmacy.
If you have a preferred lab, X-ray provider or physical therapist, let the healthcare team know your choice.
Have your insurance information available.
Before the visit, ask the receptionist to update your personal data, including current address, telephone number, insurance information and emergency contact.
Provide feedback.
Did the visit meet your needs? How could the experience be improved? Remember, telehealth is as new for your doctor as it is for you. Become an active part of your own healthcare team!