How to Prepare for a Successful Telehealth Visit

After 10 weeks of Telehealth appointments, I want to share my observations and offer suggestions to make future appointments go more smoothly.

Thank you to everyone for your patience during this transition. Switching from in-person appointments to Telehealth is an adjustment for all of us. We appreciate any feedback as we continue to refine our process with this new technology.

Please let me offer some advice on the process for Telehealth appointments so that you can get the most out of your time with your provider. Our goal is to treat these appointments the same way we would treat you if you were in the office.

Tips for a Successful Telehealth Appointment

Before your Telehealth appointment, you will receive a phone call. Either my nurse, Katrina, or one of our medical assistants will ring you to update preventative care recommendations, determine the purpose of the visit, obtain a brief history, and reconcile your medication/ supplement list.

Next, we need to determine what device you will use for your Telehealth appointment. There are some implications for this question in terms of how we connect. For example, if you have an iPhone then we will likely facetime you.

If you use an android device, we will likely connect with you using DrFirst. With DrFirst, prior to your appointment, you will be sent a text message with a direct link for you to follow. Please fill in the information to verify your identity and wait to be connected.

Like a lot of technology, sometimes it goes very smoothly and other times not so much. If we have a bad connection then our default is to call you on the phone without video. This is also the route we take if you do not have a smart phone or other device with a camera.

Pre-appointment Checklist:

  1. Make sure your device is ready to go
  2. Have a pen and paper ready to make notes
  3. Have an updated list of your medications/supplements
  4. Have your list of questions or concerns prepared
  5. Take your blood pressure, blood glucose measurement and/or temperature if appropriate
  6. Have a flashlight handy if we need to try and examine your throat, skin rash etc.
  7. Try to be situated in a quiet room with good lighting

Updates Since COVID19

Like many of you, we are working in an ever-changing environment. Thank you for your compassion as we try to stay close to your slotted time. Unfortunately being exactly on time is not always possible. Sometimes we are running behind, sometimes we are running ahead of schedule.

We are not fully staffed and the providers can often times have unexpected interruptions-such as urgent calls from patients, hospitalist physicians, consultant physicians etc.  As you know, we had to lay off Christina Schlitter, NP.  Both our staff and our patients feel her absence. Many of you sent well-wishes to Christina and we are passing those along to her. Thank you.

We appreciate your patience as relates to the many administrative tasks we are trying to keep up with.  The admin workload increased significantly during the pandemic at the same time we are short-staffed. In addition to the usual phone calls, death certificates, prescription refills, home health forms etc. We have been doing more work excuses, and FMLA paperwork.

As the last 10 weeks unfolded, it has been interesting to observe the demeanor of our patients. The first couple weeks were treated like an unexpected vacation. Spirits were still pretty good.  Over the next 8 weeks I could feel the “cabin fever” wash over our patients, many of whom I have known for over 3 decades.  It is hard to be in this profession and not feel the pain many of you are experiencing.  Just know that we are here for you.

Staying Healthy

I am asked by many of you how we are holding up.  Thanks for your concern.  I have redoubled my own efforts to be present, meditate, and focus on nutrition and exercise.  I am enjoying reconnecting with friends and family as the restrictions lessen.

It is always our goal to empower patients to take control of their own health. We recently curated our top supplements for foundational health with our functional nutritionists. These are the top supplements our providers recommend to patients for preventative wellness. To learn more, please click here.

Thanks for your support.  Try and stay healthy/safe, and yes take your vitamin D!

– Dr. G & The Care Group team