How Do I Do a Virtual Visit With My Doctor?
If you’ve made a doctor’s appointment recently, chances are it was a virtual visit. With the pandemic, most doctors offices transitioned to virtual appointments to protect both patients and staff. But these virtual visits aren’t going anywhere anytime soon: in fact, about 94% of doctors surveyed currently offer virtual care.
But don’t worry: if you’re concerned about how to get a virtual doctor appointment and get the care you need, keep reading. We’ll dive into everything you need to know when it comes to how to get a virtual doctor appointment
How To Do a Virtual Doctor Visit
Your first step will always be to contact your family doctor, if you have one. Most doctors will recommend a virtual visit as the first step. If you need a specialist appointment, your family doctor will be able to meet with you and refer you to one.
When making your virtual appointment, you’ll want to ask the booking receptionist for ways to make your appointment more efficient, such as a questionnaire you can fill out and send, photos you can send in advance, and more.
If you don’t have a family doctor, you can still likely get a virtual appointment through a local urgent care doctor.
How To See a Doctor Online: Tools You Need
Seeing a doctor virtually sounds great, but it can take a bit of preparation. Connecting virtually to a doctor’s appointment can mean you need the following tools:
- A strong internet connection
- A computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone with video access (fully charged or plugged in)
- Headset with microphone
- The app or software used by your doctor for virtual visits (be sure to download or install in advance)
- Any supporting documentation or history you want to discuss with the doctor
- Your insurance information
If you’ve never done a virtual appointment before or aren’t used to video communication, you may want to arrange a test call with your doctor’s office beforehand to ensure pesky communication issues don’t derail your appointment when the time comes.
Using a wired internet connection is always safer than wireless. If you do need to use WiFi, you may want to consider switching to your cell phone data for a faster, more reliable connection. After all, when your health is on the line, you don’t want the connection to be lagging or skipping every few words.
What to Expect From a Virtual Visit
If you’re nervous about how to do a virtual visit with a doctor and how effective it will be, you can relax: most doctors are more than used to virtual visits at this point and know the right questions to ask to get the information they need to help you.
You can ensure you get the most out of your appointment by being prepared. Make sure to have ready:
- A list of your symptoms and when they started
- Yours and your family’s medical history
- Any relevant health information like allergies, immunizations, a list of medications, past test results, etc.
- Details like your weight, temperature, blood pressure, etc.
Make sure to jot down any questions you might have before and during the call so you don’t forget to ask them.
The Bottom Line
Virtual doctor visits might be a change from what you’re used to, but they’re here to stay for many. After all, they help protect everyone’s health and can make doctor visits more efficient without sacrificing any communication. Being prepared will ensure you get the most out of your visit and help you take control of your health.