Want to make the most of a virtual doctor’s visit? Curious how you should prepare for virtual appointments with your doctor?
While virtual doctor appointments can be incredibly convenient, they also offer some unique challenges as well. It can be a lot more difficult to communicate with a doctor effectively from a distance. This can make it harder for them to help serve your needs as well.
Fortunately, there are ways you can improve your virtual visit with a doctor. Here are 7 hacks you can use to make the most out of your virtual appointments.
1. Prepare Documents and Records
One of the first things you can do to get ready for a virtual appointment with a doctor is to make sure that you’ve gathered any relevant documents ahead of time. This should include any medical records that you have, any information you have on X-rays or MRIs, and any other information or documents that may be important.
If you were referred to the physician, you’ll be having a virtual appointment with, then you’ll also want to gather any notes and documentation that you have from them as well. You must have documentation from a primary care doctor ready for the appointment to ensure that the doctor you’re speaking with is fully informed about your needs.
In addition to having your medical records and notes, you should also make sure that you have information available about your current medications as well. This will help give the virtual doctor a clear picture of your current needs.
2. Be Able to Describe Your Condition
Another thing that you can do to improve the effectiveness of your virtual appointment is to make sure that you’re ready to clearly describe your symptoms.
You’ll want to put some thought into how you’ll go into the details about your current condition. You need to be able to let the doctor know exactly what you’re experiencing.
While you’ll need to do this during a regular doctor’s appointment as well, it becomes even more important with a virtual appointment since it can be hard for a doctor to clearly see you during a video call. Think carefully about how you’ll describe the symptoms you’re experiencing and ensure that you’re able to give the doctor a good idea of what you’re going through.
If you have a skin condition such as a rash or something you can take a picture of, it can be helpful to do so. Ideally, take some pictures and then send them in advance of your appointment to ensure your doctor can get a head start and look at them before the appointment begins.
3. Get the Right Technology
Perhaps one of the best things that you can do to ensure your virtual appointment goes well is to make sure you have some great technology at your disposal.
If you can, make sure that you have a high-quality webcam to use and do what you can to improve your audio quality as well. You’ll also want to check whether you have the right software to use and should download any apps that will be needed to connect with your chosen healthcare provider. Different doctors may have different options for communicating with them virtually, so you’ll want to find out what to expect ahead of time and be sure that you have any software that you need to connect with them.
On top of all of this, you’ll also want to check to make sure that your internet speed is fast enough to have a smooth video call. You’ll want to test the internet service before your call and find out if it’s fast enough based on the requirements of the software you’ll be using.
You should also decide whether you want to use a computer, a tablet, or a mobile device to connect with your doctor. Phones and tablets are often a great choice and will tend to offer a smoother video for a virtual doctor’s visit.
Having a great virtual healthcare appointment will rely on your doctor being prepared as well. However, you should do everything you can to make sure that your technology will work well for the visit.
4. Be Ready Before You Need to Be
Another thing you should do to make sure that your video appointment goes well is to plan on getting started early.
With a video appointment such as this, you should remember that technical issues could occur at any time. Technology can often be difficult to deal with and you could experience problems just as you’re trying to meet up with your doctor, especially if you wait until the very last minute to connect.
Instead, be sure to get set up and connected to your doctor as much as 10 or 15 minutes early. This will help you ensure that you’ll have time to resolve any last-minute technical issues you run into.
By getting to your virtual appointment a bit early you’ll ensure that you have as much time as possible with your doctor and that you and your doctor have a smooth appointment.
5. Choose a Good Meeting Spot
In addition to making sure you have great technology to use, it’s also important that you find the right place to set it all up. You’ll want to find a quiet place to have your virtual visit where you can easily be heard by your doctor and where you won’t have any distractions or be disturbed by others.
By finding a quiet spot for your virtual visit, you’ll ensure that you can communicate with the doctor effectively even though it can sometimes be hard to hear each other over a video call.
In addition to this, make sure that there is enough light in your space as well. Your face should be lit up well and the doctor should be able to see you clearly. You should also avoid sitting where there will be a light source behind. Sitting in front of a window, for example, could make you look shadowy and this can make it hard for the doctor to see you well.
6. Dress Appropriately
Another thing you should keep in mind when you’re planning an appointment with an online doctor is that you should make sure to dress appropriately.
This means that you should wear clothes that allow you to easily uncover any wounds or skin conditions that you need to show your doctor during your virtual visit. It’s ideal to wear loose clothing since this will allow you to show the doctor anything they need to check out.
Remember that it’s already difficult enough for a doctor to see you during a video call as it is. They’ll also be limited on time as well. Because of this, you should make sure that you’re ready to show them anything you need to so that everything can go quickly and smoothly once the video appointment begins.
7. Help with Monitoring
When you have an online appointment, it will still be important to check your vital signs and give the doctor an indication of several measurements that they’ll be interested in.
If you have the tools you need at home, you’ll want to take your temperature and do any health monitoring tasks that you can. This may include weighing yourself, checking your blood pressure and heart rate, and other essentials.
You may also need to learn how to check your pulse. You can do this by putting your thumb on your wrist and counting how many beats there are within a 15-second time frame.
Be sure that you’re as prepared as possible to take some of these measurements if you want your appointment to go flawlessly once it begins.
8. Get a Summary After the Appointment
Just as important as what you do before and during your appointment is what you’ll do afterward.
After the virtual visit, it’s a good idea to ask your doctor for a summary of the visit and to get all of the information you can in writing afterward. Ideally, check to see whether the doctor’s office will give you a summary after the appointment to ensure you can remember what you went over. This can help you get a clearer picture of what is expected of you and what your next steps should be after the appointment is over.
In addition to this, you may want to give the doctor’s office a summary of your own as well. Some doctors may request feedback regarding the visit. If they do, be sure to let them know how you feel things went on your end. This will help ensure that they’re able to improve as time goes by and that they can give you the best service going forward.
Making the Most of Virtual Appointments with These Tips
If you want to make the most of any virtual appointments you have, you need to be prepared for your visit. By making use of the tips above you’ll have the best chance of having a helpful doctor’s visit.
Need more healthcare tips and advice? Read through our blog now to find more useful tips and advice.