If you can video chat with family and friends from home, you can probably do a virtual visit with your doctor.
Today, most doctors are offering virtual appointments for routine and sick visits. Most insurance carriers are covering these remote visits. We’re even offering virtual urgent care.
Since you don’t have to drive anywhere, you’ll probably find that virtual visits are more convenient than traditional in-person visits.
How to Have a Better Virtual Visit
However, as with all things, a little preparation goes a long way to make the experience even better.
These seven tips for virtual visit success come directly from our doctors, clinic staff, and technical team members.
1. Check Your Tech
The biggest difference with a virtual appointment is the technology required. You’ll need clear audio and video to best connect with your provider. Ensure a good visit by confirming your device and connection meet requirements.
Make sure that you have a smartphone, tablet or computer that has a camera, microphone and speakers.
Check your internet speeds by running a speed test. These are the speed ranges we suggest:
- Minimum Speeds: 0.5 megabits per second (Mbps) download AND 0.5 Mbps upload speeds
- Recommended Speeds: 1 Mbps download AND 1 Mbps upload
2. Find the Right Place
Find a private, quiet location for your remote visit. This place should:
- Have plenty of light, so the provider can see you
- Be big enough for you to move around to show your doctor your full body, if need be
- Not be in front of open windows or doorways
- Be near your internet router, if possible
Others can be present during your appointment, as long as you are comfortable sharing personal medical information in front of them. Be sure to introduce anyone who is with you to the provider.
3. Clear Your Connection
If possible, ask everyone in your household to stay off of the internet during your visit. This will help ensure a strong connection.
This is especially important for online video games, online classes, watching online videos, large downloads and other activities that could slow your connection speed.
4. Get Your Notes Ready
You’ll want to make the most of your time with the doctor. That means having everything you need within reach.
Prepare for a virtual visit just like you would for an in-person clinic visit:
- Review your appointment information and instructions
- Get your medication list or bottles ready
- Make a list of questions you have
- Have a pen and paper ready to take notes
5. Arrive Early
If possible, enter your virtual visit 10–15 minutes before your appointment time to test everything.
Use instructions provided by your provider or clinic to join the virtual visit. Make sure your audio and video are turned on.
If you have trouble, check your instructions and any tip sheets you have. If you’re unable to connect, call your clinic.
Being early will allow you to make sure everything is working, and you have what you need for your appointment.
6. Know Your Numbers
Just because you aren’t in a clinic doesn’t mean you can’t record your vitals.
If you have the equipment, take any measurements you can. This includes temperature, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation.
Have these written down and ready to tell your doctor when you connect.
7. Dress for Success
Wear loose, comfortable clothing to show rashes, wounds, or other areas during your appointment. Consider if a button-down shirt, shorts, or bare feet will make things easier to show.
Make sure you can easily move and stretch in what you are wearing.
A flashlight can also be helpful if you think more light may be needed to see something.