Face it – visiting with your doctor via video or over the phone is just one more example of our “new normal” – at least for a while. The good news is, these telehealth visits can be every bit as productive as in-person visits if you plan accordingly. Marathon Health asked its providers for some tips to make the transition as smooth as possible.
- When scheduling the call, be sure to give the provider the best phone number to reach you at. And at the time of the scheduled call, make sure you’re available. Don’t ignore it because you don’t recognize the phone number – that can take away from the valuable time you have with them.
- Before your scheduled call, find a quiet, comfortable location with good cell service. A windy street or noisy kitchen makes for terrible communications. And they’re going to ask you to confirm your identity so you may also want some privacy. “Don’t be shocked if we ask for DOB or some other identifying info,” says OurHealth Chief Medical Officer Terry Layman, MD.
- Be descriptive. If it’s a telephonic visit, the provider won’t be able to see you in person. Instead of using vague descriptors like “big, small or over there” – say things like “quarter-size” or “two inches” or “the top of my head.”
- Also, because we’re not face-to-face, expect the provider to interrupt while you’re talking to ask clarifying questions. “Be patient and understanding,” says Dr. Layman. “More than anything we want to be thorough.”
- As the visit wraps up, restate the decisions that you made and ask for any necessary follow up to be emailed to you.