5 Tips for Smoother Telehealth Appointments

Telehealth aging in place

Be prepared and be honest.
~John Wooden

Aging in Place

COVID19 has, by necessity, launched the technology of Telehealth into the mainstream. The idea of contacting your primary physician via a mobile app to report that discomfort in your neck has returned, seems so 21st Century—but in fact “telehealth” has been in existence since the first half of the 20th century. Surprisingly, in the 1940s Pennsylvania radiology images were sent 24 miles between two townships via telephone line in the world’s first example of an electronic medical record transfer (evisit.com).

Today, many of us will be having our next Dr.’s visit while sitting at the kitchen table in the comfort and safety of home. The benefits are several; 1) do not have to drive to the clinic or hospital 2) no sitting in germ-infested waiting rooms 3) can communicate with healthcare providers directly with having to message them through gatekeepers 4) HIPAA security 5) potential access to specialists. This equates to saving time and money for both medical staff/facility and patients.

The main disadvantages are 1) not everyone has the technology or know how 2) various types of illnesses and problems do require a face-to-face physical assessment and cannot be adequately diagnosed through telemedicine.

5 Tips Telehealth Appointments

Since this will be a new experience for many older people, there are a few things to keep in mind in preparing for your next telehealth session. Here are 5 tips to make the session go smoother and will facilitate a successful visit for the Dr/nurse and you as the patient.

1) Find a quiet place in the house to talk

2) Avoid distractions (i.e. dog, kids, etc.)

3) Make sure your device is fully charged beforehand (or plugged in)

4) Have a pen/pencil/paper to take notes (glasses and adequate light)

5) Go to the restroom before you start

These simple tips will go a long way to making your next telehealth session successful; which will make your providers happy and your health outcomes better.


What is Telehealth?

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