5 Things to Know About Your First Telehealth Appointment
The pandemic is changing many of the ways we conduct ourselves and how many different industries do business. The medical profession is one example. Doctors are using new tech to reach out to patients and treat them as safely as possible.
One way they are doing this is by encouraging people to try telehealth apps. Your doctor might have a proprietary one they created for their practice, or they might be using one of the popular ones on the market.
If you’re uncertain about using a telehealth app, you should know they’re quite simple in most cases. Even if you’re not very tech-savvy, you should still have little trouble getting the hang of it.
Here is what to remember as you prepare for your first telehealth appointment.
You Can Use a Smartphone, Laptop, or Desktop
As you get ready for your first telehealth appointment, one thing to keep in mind is that you can typically use the app on several different devices. Those might include:
- Your smartphone
- A laptop or desktop
- A tablet
You can use whatever device makes you feel the most comfortable, and with which you are familiar. You can download the telehealth app to your smartphone easily enough through the App Store if you have an iOS device, or through the Google Play Store for Android.
You might want to go with a desktop or laptop if you want a bigger screen. That way, you’ll have a larger image as you talk to the doctor.
You Should Do This at Home
We’d also recommend you do this at home, rather than somewhere like your job, a coffee shop, library, etc. Any of those places might have Wi-Fi, so you might want to do the appointment there. However:
- You’re going to discuss personal health matters
- You don’t know who around you is listening
If you do the appointment at a coffee shop, for instance, you’re using public Wi-Fi. Anyone around you can easily eavesdrop on what you’re saying. You probably don’t want them to hear you talking about something like an STD or your persistent hemorrhoids.
Do It Somewhere Comfortable
You should also pick out a spot at home to do the call where you’ll feel comfortable. Your den, living room, or a home office are ideal.
Remember, though, that the doctor can see whatever your camera picks up. That means if you do the call in your room, you should tidy the place up before placing the call. The doctor doesn’t want to see your dirty underwear on the floor.
You’ll also want to tell your kids, significant other, or any other family members that you need some private time for the call. Close the door to the room you’re using, and let them know not to disturb you till you come out.
Be Prepared with Questions
You might want to visit with a medical professional this way because you have Covid-19 concerns, or maybe you want to save yourself a drive to the doctor’s office. In either case, you should know what you want to talk with them about beforehand.
It’s helpful to write down a question list if you’re contacting them about a particular ailment or symptom. Take some time before the appointment and think about medication queries or anything else that’s been bothering you. This way, you can go down the list, and you’re not likely to forget anything.
Your Medical Insurance Might Cover the Appointment
Depending on your medical insurance, you also might be able to do the telehealth appointment without it costing you anything. With the pandemic going on, more companies are waiving appointment fees.
If it does cost you something, it probably won’t be very much. Doing it this way will also save you the time to drive to the doctor or take another transportation method, like Uber or Lyft.
As we get further into autumn and winter after that, the weather will turn cold in many areas. You’ll probably find it easier at this time of year to do telehealth calls if you don’t need your doctor to examine you in-person. You can avoid the ice and snow and talk to a medical professional from your snug, warm living room.
Sometimes individuals have to see a doctor in-person, but if they don’t, it seems likely telehealth apps will stay a popular option once the pandemic ends. This can be your introduction to something you might end up doing a lot in the coming years.