How to Make the Most of Your Next Virtual Appointment

You’ve heard it time and time again: More people are using virtual care than ever. At Premise, approximately 30% of all visits are virtual. Why? Because of the convenience and flexibility digital health offers to busy people juggling work, life, and everything in-between.

But for virtual visits to be effective, patients need to know how to make the best of them too. Read on to learn what members can do to make the most of their organization’s digital healthcare solution.

Why should I schedule a virtual appointment?

Virtual primary care providers can do much of what a local physician can. They can examine an irritating rash, coach you through a chronic condition, track your health through connected devices, prescribe medication, and more – they can even serve as your primary care provider.

Virtual providers can address a wide array of non-emergency needs, including preventive care, chronic condition coaching, and sick care. Scheduling your annual check-up, getting care for acute needs like a stomach virus or ear infection, or consulting an expert on your diabetes treatment plan is as simple as selecting an appointment from your healthcare portal.

How do I prepare for my virtual health appointment?

Schedule or request your appointment.

Unlike in-person primary care appointments, virtual appointments can either be scheduled for a future date or requested on demand. With on-demand appointments, you can be connected to a MD, DO, NP or PA within minutes, not days.

Ahead of your appointment, access your health information through an online portal or mobile app to ensure that your medical history and reason for visit details have been completed. Depending on your appointment type, you may be asked to submit information on your allergies, current prescriptions, health history, and primary health concerns.

Check your tech.

You can take a virtual visit on any device you feel comfortable using – your cell phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Before you start your appointment, make sure that your technology of choice is fully charged, connected to the internet, running the latest operating system, and paired with a camera, if you’ve chosen a video appointment.

Because they can be hosted anywhere – at home or on the go – virtual appointments are far more convenient than getting in the car and driving to the doctor’s office. Wherever you decide to take your appointment, choose a spot where noise and interruptions will be limited. Make sure that it has good internet access, proper lighting for a video call, and enough privacy that you’ll feel comfortable sharing health details.

What are my responsibilities during my virtual primary care visit?

Be clear and honest.

Members of your care team want to get to know you, and that involves being open about your health history and what symptoms you’re experiencing. This will ensure a more accurate diagnosis and give your physician an accurate perspective on your day-to-day health needs for regular check-ups.

Information you share during a virtual appointment is just as private as if you were sharing it in-person in the doctor’s office, so don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. If you don’t understand something, ask your provider to elaborate to ensure that you are staying knowledgeable about your health.

Take notes.

Taking notes during your virtual appointment can be a great way to ensure that you have a good understanding of what next steps you should take after an appointment, including recommended medications and how to take them, follow-up appointments, and, occasionally, referrals to a specialist for in-person care.

You can also invite a friend or family member to attend your virtual visit with you to take notes if needed. Having a trusted advocate join you during your call can help offer new perspectives, and make sure you’re getting the most out of your visit.

If you can’t catch everything, don’t worry! Your clinician will share a detailed visit summary with you after the conclusion of your appointment, available through your health portal.

What should I do to continue care after my appointment?

Pick up prescriptions. 

Taking recommended medications is a critical part of being and staying well. Be sure to pick up your prescriptions promptly after your appointment or, if you have access to virtual pharmacy services, keep an eye out for your prescription to be delivered directly to your doorstep.

In some cases, your virtual doctor or pharmacist may check in with you to see if you have any questions or concerns about your treatment regimen. Having trouble taking or picking up a prescription? They can work with you to find the best solution to get you on your medication as soon as possible.

Follow up with any questions or concerns.

When working with a virtual provider on more complicated health challenges like condition management, it may be important to maintain regular communication through your member portal.

This can be done via secure messaging, or a follow-up visit. If you like, you can designate your virtual provider as your primary care physician in a process called provider attribution and meet with them the next time you need an annual check-up.

Virtual care is here to stay, and as one of the largest digital health providers in the U.S., Premise Health knows a thing or two about delivering high-quality care through virtual visits. With our Digital Wellness Center, members have access to health services from primary care to behavioral health to occupational health and pharmacy, all at their fingertips. Are you ready to launch your population’s most accessible health solution? Contact us to learn more.

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