How Do Virtual Doctor Visits Work?
As with medicine, there are always advancements, so it makes sense that the way we see a doctor has also changed in the era of technology. Now, you can book a visit with a virtual doctor and receive quality care much the same as you would at your family doctor.
However, one of the most common questions surrounding virtual doctors is how does it work?
What Is A Virtual Doctor’s Appointment?
A virtual doctor appointment means you can consult with a fully licensed doctor from the comfort of your own home for non-urgent health concerns via your smartphone, computer or tablet. How it works is simple:
- You book your virtual doctor’s appointment.
- At the time of your appointment, pull out your device and click on the link provided to start your virtual appointment. As your visit is virtual, your appointment is a real-time video call or telephone call with a doctor — be sure you’re clear on whether it’s a phone or video call.
Helpful hint: If you are not well-versed with video calls, practice calling a friend or family member beforehand to ensure your device’s sound and video settings are functioning correctly.
- During your doctor’s appointment, discuss and/or show the reason for your visit with the virtual doctor. Be prepared to have a conversation about your health concerns, as you would with an in-person doctor.
It is important to note that your virtual doctor will provide the same care you would expect from your family doctor! In addition, just think about the time you’ll save not having to drive to the doctor’s and then wait your turn to be seen!
How To Arrange A Virtual Doctor’s Appointment
If you are interested in booking an online doctor’s appointment, whether a video call or telephone call, your first step is to contact your family doctor. You can book an appointment on your doctor’s website (if applicable); otherwise, call the doctor’s office and arrange a virtual visit with the medical staff.
Please note, it is not necessary to enter your doctor’s office to book a virtual appointment.
How Does My Telephone Appointment Work?
Upon booking your telephone appointment, medical staff will indicate whether you need to call into the clinic or if the doctor will contact you to initiate your virtual appointment. The most important thing is that you have your phone ready and fully charged so that you can speak with the doctor at the time of your appointment.
How Does My Video Appointment Work?
When you book your virtual appointment, the medical staff will let you know which streaming software, such as Skype, your appointment will use, so you can have the app installed on your device before your virtual doctor visit.
Some things to keep in mind about your video appointment:
- You will need to provide an email address so your doctor’s office can send the appointment invitation with the link for your appointment to your email.
- You need stable, high-speed internet to support the video call.
- You need a device that has a microphone and video camera — new devices have these features built-in. As mentioned before, check that your device has a working camera and microphone before initiating your video call with the doctor.
What Are the Advantages of Virtual Visits Vs. In-Person Ones?
A virtual doctor’s appointment is easy, convenient and a safer alternative for certain patients. It’s easy to book an appointment; just call your doctor’s office. There’s no need for transportation, time off work, or leaving the house, making it a very convenient option.
Additionally, certain patients that do not have transportation will have a simpler time seeing a doctor for non-urgent care. Further, seniors or those with decreased immune systems that need to speak with a doctor for minor concerns don’t have to worry about leaving their house.
How To Have A Good Virtual Visit With Your Doctor
To get the most out of your virtual doctor appointment, here are some helpful tips to help prepare you for your visit:
- Write down the reason for your call, including any symptoms or questions you would like to ask the doctor.
- If you’re doing a video call, test your internet before the time of your appointment.
- Ensure your device is fully charged.
- Use headphones.
- Pick a quiet room in the house, so you can focus on the doctor when they call.
Booking Your Virtual Doctor Appointment
It’s reassuring to know that if you need to see a doctor, there are options, like seeing them virtually (phone or video call) rather than just traditional in-person doctor visits. So next time you have a minor health concern, don’t forget virtual doctor appointments are a safe and effective alternative to address your healthcare needs!