The COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty in all of our lives. From March 2020 onwards, we have seen a bevy of changes that turned life as we know it on its head. While we don’t know how long this pandemic will last or if there are any more lockdowns around the corner, we will do our best to keep our patients up to speed on the treatment options available to them, which currently includes both in-person and telehealth. Regardless of which option you choose, we’ve outlined what you can expect from each type of visit.
An office visit
Our clinic is open for business and welcoming patients for their appointments. We understand that some patients have a hesitancy to come in person, so we have instituted as many safety measures as possible. Here’s what to expect:
- Upon arrival, you can check in with our receptionist or with an app.
- Your temperature will be checked and a few questions will be asked to screen for possible exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
- You will find a relatively empty waiting room. Only a family member or a designated person who is providing necessary care for you will be allowed to accompany you.
- There will be plenty of hand sanitizer available. We also encourage you to wash your hands often and promise to do the same for you.
- You will be asked to wear a mask throughout the duration of your visit. Each member of your healthcare team will be wearing masks for your safety, too.
- When your appointment is finished, you will have the option of booking your next appointment right away. And soon, you will be able to schedule your follow-up or referral using one of our self-service kiosks. Of course, our receptionists are always available to help, too.
A virtual visit
Health care has changed a great deal since COVID-19 hit, and as a result, telehealth—or virtual care—has become a widely available option to continue patient care plans while observing social-distancing recommendations. Have you done a telehealth visit yet? If not, we’ve provided some information below to help answer the questions you may have leading up to your first virtual care session.
“Although I love seeing my patients in the clinic, we understand it takes time and energy to come in for an appointment.”
What is a telehealth visit?
A telehealth visit is an appointment that is done virtually. The doctor and the patient do not need to be in the same place during this visit because it is done via a phone or video call. Patients can use their smartphones, tablets, or computers to connect with the doctor.
How will I get connected?
Our staff will provide you with all the information you need for your virtual visit prior to your scheduled appointment.
Are telehealth visits secure?
All telehealth appointments are private. We use a special platform that is compliant with all patient privacy regulations and is also completely confidential. It has enhanced security to safely access, store, process, and transmit your personal health information.
What do telehealth visits treat?
Not every problem can be addressed during a telehealth visit because some issues require a physical examination by the doctor. However, there are many conditions a doctor can evaluate and treat during a telehealth visit, which include:
- Reviewing your CT or MRI results;
- Discussing the next step of your treatment plan;
- Going over the pros and cons of surgery; and
- Post-operative check-ups.
To determine if a telehealth appointment is right for you, please reach out with any questions.
Are there benefits to a virtual visit?
There are many benefits to a virtual visit! Although I love seeing my patients in the clinic, we understand it takes time and energy to come in for an appointment. And, during the pandemic, we’d rather our patients feel as comfortable as possible throughout their appointment. For some, that means doing it from home right now. Here are a few of the benefits of scheduling a telehealth appointment:
- Avoid taking a day off of work;
- Eliminate the need to arrange transportation;
- Speak with your doctor from the comfort of your home, work, or any other private spot; and
- Minimize your exposure to environments where you may be inadvertently exposed to COVID-19.
How can you prepare?
Here are some of our tips to help you get the most from your appointment.
Day before your visit:
- Make a list of concerns and questions
- Collect your medications and prescriptions
- Find relevant test results and imaging (if available)
- Charge your device
- Perform any pending updates on your device
- Find the volume control on your device
- Contact the clinic if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment
- Identify a quiet spot to conduct your appointment
- Test your WiFi to ensure you have a strong connection
Day of your visit:
- Connect your device to a power source
- Connect to WiFi
- Close any unnecessary programs or applications before you start your appointment
- Join the session at least 10 minutes prior to your appointment—the doctor will join you as soon as possible
During your visit:
- Sit a few feet back from the camera
- Sit in a well-lit area
- Try to look at the camera when speaking
- Keep background noise to a minimum (eg. close nearby doors and windows, turn off the TV and radio)
- Silence your cell phone
While I hope this answers a few of your most pressing questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our clinic staff for any other questions you may have regarding your next visit—whether it’s in-person or remote. Get in touch with us here to chat with us further!