This post was written by Heather Willison, MSN, FNP-C, PPG – Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
This past spring, I spent eight weeks “seeing” my patients from my home office. Now, due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in the community, a shift to virtual visits is necessary again. These visits are either completed over a video/audio connection, or by telephone if the patient does not have video capabilities. As virtual visits are new to many of you, I thought it might help to compile a list of dos and don’ts for utilizing telemedicine.
- DO make certain that your phone or electronic device is charged, and that you have a good internet connection. If it’s a video visit, please make certain that your face can be clearly seen, the room is well lit and that the microphone works properly. Testing your equipment ahead of time can be very helpful!
- DO be prepared for your visit. We spend time preparing for the visit by reviewing your health history, medication list and any relevant test results. It’s very helpful if you also prepare by knowing what medications you are taking and having a list of question/concerns ready. This goes for in-person visits as well.
- DON’T complete the visit outside if it is a very windy day. Not only am I now jealous that you are out enjoying the sunshine, I also can’t hear you. (By the way, I’m thrilled that you are outside enjoying the beautiful day. It means I’m doing my job in keeping your allergies or asthma well controlled!)
- DO “arrive” for your visit on time. Your time is very valuable, and so is ours.
- DON’T drive around during the visit. When you mount your phone on the dash of your vehicle and proceed to drive around, I become distracted by my concern for your safety, and that of everyone in your path. I also become quite carsick!
- DO have your child with you if the visit is for the child. Would you show up to a visit in the office without bringing along the patient?
- DON’T continue working during the visit. I always start each visit by confirming that this is a good time to chat. It’s not a good time if you are operating heavy machinery or in the middle of a Zoom meeting for work.
- DO plan to complete the visit in a quiet area where there are no distractions.
Please remember, this visit is for you, and we want to be able to provide the best possible care, regardless of the circumstances.