Preparing for a virtual appointment with your doctor


During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many doctors have switched from in-person appointments to virtual appointments with their patients using the phone or a computer video call. Virtual appointments, also known as telemedicine, can usually replace in-person visits effectively for consultations and for examinations that do not require close physical contact. They allow doctors to provide clinical services to their patients using electronic communications, without requiring patients to come into the office. Doctors are doing this to maintain physical distancing because COVID-19 can easily be spread from one person to another. Hospitals and clinics are also using telemedicine to communicate with patients and families.

 Here’s what you can do: If you have a virtual appointment scheduled with your doctor, it is important to be prepared. Before the meeting, collect the following information:

· Your symptoms and what you are worried about

· Ongoing health issues, including pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease

· Allergies to medicines, foods, or environmental factors

· A current medication list, including each medicine’s name, strength, and instructions

  • Include any over-the-counter (OTC) and natural health products that you use regularly
  • Tell your doctor if you take your medicines in a different way from the instructions on your prescription labels

· Tests that have recently been done, such as blood work

· Contact information for any other doctor(s) you see, your pharmacy, and your key contact person (family member, caregiver)

On the day of your virtual appointment, be sure your phone, computer, or other mobile device you will be using is charged or plugged into an outlet and turned on. Virtual appointments can provide many benefits and they are a new reality in times of physical distancing. Ask your healthcare provider if a virtual appointment can replace an in-person appointment.

Created on July 27, 2020

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