For most people, telehealth is a whole new world of health care. And while it might be a bit different to what we're all used to, there are some key things you can do to get the most out of your telehealth experience.
We’ve built on other guides to develop our top tips to ensure your telehealth appointment runs smoothly.
The clinician may be running late, have technical troubles or have an emergency to attend to. You can be prepared for delays by having the tv remote, book or a word search at hand to keep you distracted. Also, if it’s your first time using the technology be patient with yourself, we are all learning together.
Be tech prepared
- Have your phone or laptop camera set up with lots of light and no shadow on your face
- Make sure you can see your whole face on the video as it makes it easier to communicate
- Set up in a quiet space and be aware of your background (hide the washing!)
- Do a technology test run before your appointment time and learn how to adjust volume, use headphones if needed or turn on your camera
- Make sure you have space to get up and move if your practitioner want to see something
- Make sure your device is charged and keep a charger close by
Be appointment prepared
- Ensure you have all medical information handy if needed
- Have a list of questions ready to go and order them from most important to least in case of technical difficulties or running out of time.
- Make sure others in your home are aware you are in a private appointment
- Adjust volume to a level that you can hear but your privacy is maintained (if others in your home)
- Try not to have to many others using the internet at the same time as your appointment to optimise your connection
- Make sure your clinician has your contact number in case a video call fails and a back up phone call is needed.
Why not take this time to try something new like a video call, or use the exercise app your physiotherapist recommends or the You Tube video on mindfulness that your psychologist suggests? You and your clinician will be learning together, and they want you to succeed so are ready to help.
It’s a stressful time now for everyone including healthcare professionals. So be kind when you interact and be kind to yourself as we try to navigate this new way of doing things. Recognise that we are all doing the best we can with what we’ve got. Look up the Kindness Epidemic if you want some feel good stories.
Ask for help
It’s easy to give up when something is new, but please ask for help from family, friends or the health provider. A phone call to talk you through the steps is easy to do.
Maintaining good health is essential during this time, so please don’t avoid telehealth for fear of the unknown. You never know, it may be the perfect solution to your healthcare needs.