Telemedicine, telehealth, video visits and virtual visits are all common terms that providers will use to describe the ways they connect virtually with patients during COVID-19 and beyond.
The Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis (VNA) has been intentional in adopting this technology for its own patients. This technology is HIPAA compliant, meaning the necessary privacy provisions are being followed, and is easy to connect to via smartphone, tablet or computer without downloading any software.
Here are some things you should do prior to a telemedicine visit to prepare:
Providers won’t be able to do the same types of physical exams as they do in person, so it helps if you regularly take your heart rate, oxygen saturation, blood pressure and/or temperature.
Tell your provider about any recent new symptoms, any symptoms that may no longer be controlled or changes that are worrisome. Also tell them about any recent falls or injuries you may have had.
If you have something you want your provider to see, like a wound, bruise, lump, etc., make sure to show them, and rest assured that your privacy will be protected.
Have a list of your current medications on hand so that providers can compare it to what they have in your chart and update as needed.
Let your provider know if you have seen any other providers, been to the ER or been admitted to the hospital recently.
Apart from things you need to do prior to a visit, here are some general tips that can help make your visit with VNA’s team more successful and smooth.
Be on time. Much like an in-person visit, the provider is usually booked by time slots. If you don’t see the link to your appointment at your appointment time, or you are having troubles with connection after you click the link, call VNA’s office at (314) 918-7171.
Most patients need a caregiver to help guide the visit. Make sure that your caregiver can be seen by the camera and that the audio is picking up both of you.
If you would like to test your system before your visit, let the coordinator know while you are scheduling. This can easily be done through VNA’s office.
Virtual visits can help VNA keep in touch with patients as often as needed to supplement provider visits. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you would like to use virtual visits to speak to a social worker or spiritual counselor.
COVID-19 awareness is still a concern moving forward. Please be sure to let your provider know if a patient or caregiver is experiencing any symptoms of illness.
For more information about VNA’s TapCloud telemedicine service, read our blog.