What To Know When Preparing For A Telemedicine Appointment


The demand by the consumer for virtual health care has blown up during the coronavirus pandemic. Due to telemedicine, individuals seeking medical attention with chronic conditions and those with new concerns can have an appointment with a board-certified health care provider from in the safety and comfort of their own homes. According to experts from the American Academy of Dermatology, a medical specialty with an excess of two decades in telemedicine experience, even subsequent to the subsiding of the pandemic, the efficiency, and convenience of virtual health care will mean that telemedicine is definitely here to stay.

In particular, for busy families, those that reside in remote areas, and persons with demanding schedules at work, telemedicine is an exceptional method of connecting with their primary health care provider, according to Jennifer David who is a board-certified dermatologist and then went on to open her own practice. However, in the same way, that an individual would prepare themselves for a face-to-face consultation, it is critical to devote some time preparing for a virtual appointment in order to ensure the visit is as efficient and effective as it could be. Here are a few guidelines to assist persons in achieving the most out of their telemedicine visit.

Contact Insurance Provider

Prior to the virtual visit, individuals should make contact with their insurance provider in an effort to ascertain if their policy would cover appointments such as these. The majority of insurance companies have modernized their coverage so that they encompass telemedicine consultations during the coronavirus pandemic. However, it is still crucial that the individual confirms what kind of telemedicine visits the plan they have covers them for and what type of health care provider can provide the service, such as the dermatologist or another professional specified by the insurance company.

Gather Essential Medical Information

This item is particularly important if the individual has a telemedicine visit with a health care provider that they are seeing for the first time. Having access to the medical history of the individual will assist the health care provider in making the correct diagnosis, determine what type of treatment is required and the best medicine to prescribe if required. Contact the office of the health care provider prior to the virtual visit to find out if they are any forms that require being filled out before the appointment occurs. Additionally, make a list of the below prior to the appointment: previous health concerns or conditions that your family members suffered from, such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer; any allergies; previous health issues and when the symptoms first manifested themselves; major illnesses or surgeries that you would have had; medications currently being taken.

The Type of Telemedicine Visit

Individuals during the phone call to the office of the health care provider should also seek to find out the type of telemedicine visit they will be having with the doctor: For telephone visits, the individual might be provided with instructions on when to anticipate a call from the health care provider. For video visits, the individual would be issued a website link for them to connect to at the appointed time of the visit. For photo-only visits, the individual would need to make contact with the office in order to ascertain when and how they should send the photos and which format is preferred. Individuals might also be requested to provide photos for their video and telephone visits as well. Record any potential questions that you might have. Completing this prior to the visit helps you recall everything that you wish to discuss and ensure that the visit is as efficient as possible.

Take Photos

In the event that the concern the individual has is evident on the skin, nails, or hair, take clear and precise photos of the affected area or areas that require examination. Similar to a face-to-face health care provider visit, if an individual requires to have the nails or face assessed, do not forget to remove all forms of makeup or nail polish prior to taking the photos. In spite of how the telemedicine visit is conducted, whether telephone or video, it could be very helpful to provide photos of the skin to the health care provider. The office of the doctor might provide details as to how to send the photos.

Photos Should Be Of The Highest Quality

Ensure that all the photos have good lighting. Wherever feasible, take the photos in natural light. If access to natural light is an issue, use an alternative source of light, like a flashlight or reading light. Bear in mind not to have any glare or shadows on the area in focus. Take several photos, including one of each angle of the affected area or areas that require examination. Ensure that you display the entire body part where the area that is affected is present. Take photos for comparison. For instance, if the individual has a spot on their hand, take photos of each hand so that the health care provider could see how the area normally appears. Ensure that close-ups are taken and far away shots as well, also for comparison purposes. Get Assistance. Ask a friend or family member that resides with you to capture the photos especially for the hard-to-reach areas, such as the back. In the event that you reside alone, utilize a mirror to ensure that the photo is of the correct spot. For Blurry Photos. Simply delete them and retake another, due to the fact that a clear photo is vital for an accurate examination.

Try to avoid irritating the skin prior to the virtual visit. Avoid doing things that could alter the appearance of the skin prior to the virtual visit. Some of the things that persons should try avoiding are picking or rubbing the skin, taking hot showers, or applying skincare products.

Locate a private and quiet space where the telemedicine visit can take place. Ensure that the internet connectivity is good and reduce background noise and any form of distractions as much as possible. If the issue is something that is visible and needs to be seen, then ensure that the space chosen has the best lighting possible.


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