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Get the Most Out of Your Video Visit

12 tips to making your telemedicine appointment a success

Doctor conducts medical appointment using video conferencing.

12 tips to making your telemedicine appointment a success

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, Scripps vastly expanded its virtual care options so patients could continue to get the care they needed. That means many of your health care needs — from wellness visits to follow-up care — can now be met through a Video Visit with your Scripps provider.

The safety and convenience of these virtual visits have been a hit with patients, leading doctors to believe that telemedicine is here to stay. 

“COVID-19 has really accelerated acceptance and use of telehealth and video visits,” says David Wetherhold, MD, a Scripps Clinic internal medicine physician and Scripps chief medical information officer for ambulatory care. “It won’t replace every visit, but where it makes sense, we will continue to support this even after COVID-19.”

Virtual Visits in Real Time, on Your Time

Not only are Video Visits offered by many Scripps primary care providers and specialists, Scripps HealthExpress also offers telemedicine visits for minor illnesses and injuries seven days a week. Video Visits with HealthExpress providers can be scheduled online through the MyScripps patient portal or can be conducted “on demand.” 

Video Visits with your regular primary care doctor or specialist are by appointment only and are available by contacting your physician’s office directly or scheduling online. 

Set-up is Simple

Scripps Video Visits are conducted through the MyScripps patient portal. You can use any internet-connected device (smartphone, computer or tablet) with a working camera and microphone. You should also take a few minutes to make sure your device has the latest operating system update.

Tools such as a blood pressure cuff or thermometer aren’t required, but they do come in handy, since some conditions can be managed or monitored remotely. 

Scripps is also part of the Apple Health app platform, meaning Apple Watches and other compatible devices can auto-upload data like your blood pressure, pulse and glucose levels to the MyScripps app, where your physician can easily access it.

Plan for Your Virtual Visit

Whether this is your first time having a medical appointment by video or you’re a veteran, there are steps you can take to make sure your visit goes smoothly. Watch our short video tutorials and read these tips from Dr. Wetherhold:

1. Check Wi-Fi

Call from a quiet place that has good phone and Wi-Fi service. Remember to turn off background noise from the television or radio.

2. Find a private place

Set up in a private area, so you can discuss personal medical information.

3. Prepare your questions

Write down questions you have in advance for your provider before the video visitation.

4. Get good light

Make sure there is plenty of light. Face a window or light if possible. You want to avoid sitting with your back in front of a window or other bright light as this will make it difficult for the provider to see you.

5. Hold your device horizontally

If using a mobile device, orient your phone or tablet horizontally and not vertically.

6. Provide good view of yourself

Your provider wants to see you! Make sure your face and upper body are in the video and not just the top of your head.

7. Consider getting camera help

You may be asked to move the camera to assist in evaluating a problem. Consider if you will want help in holding the camera if you are asked to perform physical exam maneuvers.

8. Test your device

 Log in to your online patient portal and test your device before the visit to troubleshoot any technical issues. Ensure that you are not on mute and that the microphone and camera on your device are enabled. At Scripps, the online patient portal is MyScripps.

9. Check in early

Start your visit check-in process at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time.

10. Silence your phone

If you are using your mobile phone, don’t be on a phone call when the visit begins.

11. Tap to hear better

If you can’t hear the audio, tap the screen and then press the microphone button twice.

12. Be ready to take notes

Have pen and paper to write down information.

Schedule a Video Visit

Call your doctor to see if a Video Visit is right for you. If you are experiencing a life-threatening condition, such as chest pain or a broken bone, always go to the emergency room or call 911.