The COVID-19 outbreak is keeping us close to home, but so much of our lives keeps going! Many of us are using new technology, especially videoconferencing, to keep tabs on friends and family, stay on top of schoolwork, and collaborate with colleagues from makeshift home offices. The learning curve has been steep, but it’s playing a huge role in keeping our COVID-19 infection curves low.
Another thing that doesn’t take a break for coronavirus is our routine health needs. We’ve got follow-ups with our doctors to keep, prescriptions to refill, and questions that need answers. Now, you can connect with your OhioHealth providers by voice and video, too, with telehealth appointments!
Many providers at OhioHealth can now schedule telehealth appointments, which means you can connect with your doctors, specialists and nurse practitioners from the comfort and safety of home.
Telehealth appointments can be as simple as a phone call, or you may be able to use live, two-way audio and video from your phone, tablet or computer, which allows you to have a real-time face-to-face conversation with your doctor.
When would I have a telehealth appointment?
Your provider might recommend a telehealth appointment for things like routine needs and follow-up visits. OhioHealth is also using telehealth appointments to connect with patients who are concerned about COVID-19 symptoms.
Providers will assess upcoming appointments to see which may be appropriate for telehealth. If your provider feels this might be a good option for you, the practice will reach out to you and change your appointment to be via telehealth – either telephone or video.
What are the differences between telehealth and in-person appointments?
In many ways, a telehealth appointment is just like a regular office visit.
- You’ll check in for your appointment by validating your personal information, insurance, medications and allergies, just like you would for an office visit, but you do it electronically or over the phone.
- Once your provider gets on the call or starts the video, you can discuss your symptoms, your recovery progress, your medical history, even general concerns – just like you would during an in-person visit.
- At the end of your appointment, your provider may prescribe you a medication or discuss the next steps for your care.
- You’ll even get an after-visit summary, just like you normally would.
But a few things are different:
- Your provider won’t be able to do a normal physical examination, but will be able to see some things over video, like rashes or impaired movement.
- Your doctor won’t be able to take your vital signs, like pulse, blood pressure and temperature, but may ask you for readings on any equipment or devices that you use.
Telephone (audio only) appointments
A telephone appointment is just a phone conversation between you and your provider. Your provider’s office will let you know in advance, and remind you, that your appointment has switched from being in the office to over the telephone.
When you call to check in, you will be greeted by a medical assistant who asks you routine questions. When finished, the medical assistant will dial your provider.
What do I need?
- A phone
- An OhioHealth MyChart
During a video appointment, you can see your provider and they can see you. This is very helpful when your provider needs to see your symptoms, or check on things like injury recovery.
For these visits, you will check in electronically before your visit through OhioHealth MyChart. We recommend checking in well before your scheduled appointment, so you will have time to complete the questionnaire and update any necessary information.
What do I need?
- An OhioHealth MyChart
- A smartphone, tablet or computer with a camera.
- The OhioHealth app, if using a phone or tablet.
- The Zoom Cloud Meetings app for your phone or tablet, or the Zoom Client for Meetings program on your computer.
Telehealth video appointments on Zoom that are launched from OhioHealth MyChart are secure and in compliance with patient safeguards in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Tips for communicating with your provider during a telehealth appointment
- Follow all of the steps your provider’s office sends you. If you need support, your provider’s office will connect you to a support team.
- Maintaining your privacy is important. Please choose a well-lit space with a door that that can close for your appointment. This will help prevent interruptions and keep your conversation with your provider confidential.
- Join or call in for your telehealth appointment a few minutes before it is scheduled to start, so you are ready when your provider is available.
We have step-by-step instructions to prepare for your telehealth video appointment on OhioHealth.com/Telehealth. The instructions include links to download all the telehealth tools you’ll need.
It’s just one of several virtual health options OhioHealth offers to give you the care you need when, and where, you need it.
Get a head start – download the OhioHealth app!
The OhioHealth app makes it easy to choose doctors and schedule appointments, find locations and manage your care on the go. You can also sync up your OhioHealth MyChart if you have one, which you will use for your telehealth appointments. Click here to learn more about telehealth appointments.