Virtual care is being applied more throughout our society online through video calls or on the phone. Virtual care are sessions that take place between a healthcare provider and patient online in their own base-location. Through these virtual care appointments, it provides us with the opportunity to physically distance to reduce the spread of COVID-19 while still taking care of our health as we can connect with various healthcare providers.
Despite, not being able to connect in-person with these healthcare providers, there are still many advantages to virtual care. Some of which include:
Direct interaction with healthcare provider.
Ability to receive adequate care as appropriate.
Reduced delays in waiting for care.
Do not need to travel as you can speak from the comfort of your home.
Can use various platforms whether computer, smartphone and phone to speak with healthcare provider.
When booking an appointment, here are some tips to prepare for the virtual care session:
Ask your healthcare provider about your rights, privacy, and any confidentiality concerns.
Plan your meeting space. Consider good lighting and minimal background noise.
Gather information you will need for every session: health card, current medication list, pharmacy name, location and phone number, and health data (e.g. blood pressure reading or glucose levels).
If a family member or caregiver is joining the appointment, ensure they know the date, time and the platform being used.
Write down in advance of any questions or concerns you have regarding your health.
Make sure you are available at least 15 minutes before the appointment and 30 minutes after incase the healthcare provider is running late.
Check any emails from the healthcare provider as they may provide more updates or tips for virtual care appointments as well.
During your virtual appointment, here are some items you may want to have with you:
Eyeglasses, hearing aids or walking aids in case you do require it during the appointment.
A list of your medications or the actual bottles themselves. This will make it easier to remember or reference them easily throughout the appointment.
Pharmacy information including the address, phone and fax information if the doctor may require contacting your pharmacist.
Pen and paper to take notes.
Be prepared to show any wounds or rashes for the doctor to assess.
For more tips and information about virtual appointments: https://health.sunnybrook.ca/covid-19-coronavirus/virtual-care-checklist/
Written by: Shenen Sivakumar