Posted 3 years ago
Make the Most of Your Telehealth Appointment
Whether you’re new to technology or have long embraced it, talking to your doctor online is probably something new. There are ways you can make the most of your telehealth appointment. We’ve spent our entire life seeing doctors in person so on online appointment seems unfamiliar. To reduce infection of COVID-19, many medical offices have started using telemedicine to reduce contact for appointments that don’t require your physical presence.
How Common is Telehealth?
Even before the pandemic, 76 percent of U.S. hospitals connected with patients and consulting practitioners at a distance through the use of video and other technology. It’s unknown what the 2020 rates of telemedicine will be, but they are predicted to skyrocket.
Dr. Rajesh Bagai says, “These days everything we do is online so telemedicine is pretty intuitive. Although there’s no substitute for a physical exam and in person interaction, for many routine appointments, telemedicine is an obvious choice during these unprecedented pandemic times for the safety and convenience of our patients. Beyond the end of the pandemic, we will reassess the role of telemedicine in our routine practice but it may be part of the “new normal” society that many of us are talking about.”
Many oncology appointments require you to be here in person. Telemedicine will never completely replace in office consultations. Your provider will make the best decision after taking into account all of your individual needs.
Complete Your Paperwork Before Your Appointment
Before your appointment, your doctor will review your notes. Help your doctor by having your information as up to date. If the nurse or doctor ask you to complete something, please complete it well in advance of your appointment.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you’ve never had a teleconference before, practice before your appointment.
Consider practicing with a friend or family member if you’re new to video conferencing.
Are you sure your computer has a camera?
Is your microphone and speakers on?
Is your camera pointed clearly at you?
Write it Down
Before your appointment, write down questions for your doctor.
Have paper to write down the doctor’s instructions and questions you want clarification on.
Have an extra pen just in case.
Turn On the Light
Pick a well-lit area free of shadows so the provider can see you clearly.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Make sure you have a good Internet connection in your location.
If you’re Internet connection is slow, consider having family members staying of streaming services like Netflix and Pandora for the duration of your call.
Don’t Have Distractions
Make sure your cell phone isn’t giving text or social media alerts while on your call.
Turn off your TV and music.
Make sure your computer or phone is fully charged.
Keep Your Necessities at Arm’s Length
Have a drink of water nearby and any essentials you might need in case you need it during your meeting.
If You Have Questions, Talk to Us
Your Ironwood medical assistant, nurse, and doctor are here to answer your questions and keep you informed.
Communication with the office is key to ensure we have the most productive telemedicine appointment possible.
Dr. Rajesh Bagai joined Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers in August 2013. He earned his medical degree at the age of 23 from Northeast Ohio Medical University, having completed the six-year honors program in medicine. He completed residency and fellowship training at University Hospitals of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Dr. Bagai went on to work at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic.
During his time at these institutions, he participated in clinical research trials to develop novel treatment strategies and has presented his findings at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting.
About Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers
Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers (ICRC) is the largest multi-specialty oncology network in the Greater Metro Phoenix area. They have over 100 medical providers, a robust Integrative Services program and a dedicated clinical research department. Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers has 15 valley locations and five comprehensive cancer care centers that offer a multi-disciplinary approach for expedited personalized patient care. For more information, please visit www.ironwoodcrc.com.