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These tips help you prepare for your telemedicine visit so it goes more smoothly.

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Virtual appointments with your doctor – called telemedicine – are one of the many ways people are adapting to a “new normal” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth is not a new concept, but it has become an increasingly vital way for patients to take care of their health even if they don’t want to – or can’t – go to the doctor’s office.

Most preventative and follow-up care can be effectively managed through telemedicine. The best way to know for sure is to call your doctor’s office.

Once you schedule a telehealth appointment, here’s how to make the most of your virtual visit:
  1. Be prepared with the technology you need – a smartphone, tablet, or computer with a front-facing camera and a working microphone. Be sure the device is plugged in or charged and you have reliable internet connectivity. If using an iPhone, IPad, or Android be sure to download the MyChart mobile app on your device prior to connecting to video visits. Click here for a tutorial on how to download the MyChart app.
  2. If using a laptop or desktop go to BatonRougeClinic.Com, at the top right-hand corner, click the green MyChart Login button or click here to log in to your MyChart account using your User Name and Password. Click on “Visits”/ upcoming appointments and visits select “Upcoming Visits.” Click on your scheduled video visit. You will be required to go through the e-check in process. Click “Begin Visit.” Once the video visit has made a connection you will see a message that says, “Connected please wait for your provider. For additional tips and steps click here.
  3. Find a quiet place so you are not interrupted while you talk with the doctor. It should be well-lit and away from noise or interruptions.
  4. Get together any information the doctor’s office asked you to have ready for the appointment. This may include your weight, temperature, pulse rate, and blood pressure (if you have a blood pressure monitor at home). Also have a list of current medications, vitamins, and supplements you take, as well as photos of anything you want the doctor to see close up. If you have medical records or lab tests the doctor you are seeing doesn’t know about, have those with you, too.
  5. Prepare a list of questions, concerns, or symptoms that you want to discuss with the doctor. Since this type of communication may feel a bit uncomfortable at first, it is best to have everything written down so you don’t forget anything. Also, have a pad and pen available to write down information your doctor provides so you don’t forget it.
  6. Have patience. It’s possible the connection may be interrupted or there may be glitches in the software due to heavy use. You may have to do some troubleshooting, reconnect or repeat part of the conversation, but for the most part, your visit should be mostly trouble-free. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll likely find that telemedicine is a convenient and effective way to manage many health issues.

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Date Last Reviewed: May 19, 2020

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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