COVID-19 has made many things harder, including attending doctor appointments. However, many places are conducting important appointments virtually, rather than physically, by using telemedicine.
Telemedicine is the use of technology that enables remote healthcare (also known as telehealth). Telemedicine increases accessibility, making it possible for physicians to treat patients whenever needed, regardless of where the patient is located.
Here are some things that you need to know in order to successfully complete your first telemedicine appointment:
- It is essential that you are aware of the correct time and date of your telemedicine appointment, as well as how you will attend this appointment (phone, video link, etc.) so that you will not miss your appointment.
- Ensure that your phone/wifi connection is strong, or seek out places with free internet (local library, nearby restaurants, etc.).
- If you live in a different state than where your doctor’s office is located, check to see if any further paperwork is required.
- Write down any questions or concerns you have for your doctor ahead of time.
- You can also record the conversation to reference back at for later purposes, but remember to answer the phone!
- Ensure you are in a private, quiet place during your appointment, and try to log on at least five minutes before.
- Remember - although this is done virtually, it should still be treated the same as an in-person doctor's appointment.
- Your insurance will be billed for this appointment, just like an in-person visit.
- Although this may be a new experience, it can be less stressful than normal doctor appointments since you are able to relax in the comfort of your own home.
- Technical support is available too, if any issues are encountered.
- Be prepared for possible delays in your appointment if technological difficulties occur.
Below is advice from fellow lung cancer patients and survivors:
Go to the restroom right before. Check yourself in the mirror. Try to be someplace quiet. Make sure you have enough power if you're on a battery powered device. Test your connection, audio, and video beforehand. Adjust your camera before initiating the call. Speak clearly. Have a backup number to call in case someone loses connection!
Please see additional resources below to answer any further questions: