Written by Dr. Lee Greer, Corporate Medical Director, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi
Telemedicine has become an important tool in caring for you during the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows you to use technology, like a smartphone or laptop, to meet with your provider without having to leave your home.
Before the Visit
Like any appointment, preparing for a telemedicine visit is important so that you and your provider can get the most out of your visit.
Here are a few tips to help make your telemedicine visit a success:
- Make sure you have the date and time of your appointment on your calendar.
- If you have any questions about your upcoming visit, contact your provider's office. Like you, your provider wants a successful visit.
- Have a list of your medications and allergies.
- Test your camera - it should focus on your face at the start of the visit.
- Test your microphone if you're on a desktop computer or laptop.
- Plug in your device or make sure your battery is charged.
- Find a quiet space with privacy and dress in appropriate clothes.
- Have good lighting so your image is clear for your provider.
During the Visit
Your telemedicine visit should be much like an in-person visit. Your provider may ask you questions about your medical concerns, conduct a brief physical examination, review any recent test results and develop a treatment plan.
- Stay engaged - act like you would during an in-person visit; ask any questions and give your provider a full explanation of your medical issue(s) and symptoms.
- Look into the camera and stay close so the provider can hear you.
- The provider may give you instructions to examine a particular area like a small rash or blemish. Feelfree to ask if they were able to see it or if you need to adjust the camera to help them perform a better examination.
After the Visit
- When you complete your visit, you may have next steps to complete like schedule a follow-up appointment, laboratory tests, or have imaging performed. Your provider will give you instructions on things you need to do before your next visit.
- Take note of any important instructions that you may have received. If may be helpful to write it down during the visit.
- Like an in-person visit, if you have further questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to your provider.
During this pandemic, you still need to manage your acute and chronic health conditions. Telemedicine can serve as a valuable resource to help you on your health journey.