Young woman on laptop preparing for telehealth appointment

How to prepare for a telehealth appointment

Medically reviewed on February 24, 2023 by Jordan Stachel, MS, RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

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It wasn’t all that long ago that you needed to drive to an in-person medical facility to be seen by a healthcare provider. Now, thanks to the advent of telehealth visits and virtual visit technology, seeing a healthcare provider is easier than ever. With telehealth services, you can book a telemedicine appointment online and see your provider from the comfort of your own home.

But if you’ve never experienced a virtual care visit (VCV) before, you may have some questions like, “How to prepare for a telehealth appointment?”

Below, we’ll discuss how to prepare for your VCV, as well as what steps you can take during and after your appointment to ensure the best outcome.

Before your appointment

After you’ve scheduled your telemedicine appointment, you may think all you need to do is show up on time. But what if your device has a digital blunder two minutes before the scheduled VCV? You’ll have little to no time to figure out the root of the problem before the start of the telemedicine visit.

Thankfully, you can avoid this with proper preparation. Approximately 30 minutes before your virtual visit appointment, ensure you’re ready with the following tips [1]:

  • Check your email for instructions – Your healthcare provider may have sent instructions on how to use their online platform for a video visit. If so, print a copy or leave the directions open on your computer screen so that you can reference them during your telemedicine visit as needed.
  • Test the platform before the visit – If you’re taking part in a video telehealth appointment, you’ll likely receive a link that allows you to test your camera and speakers in advance. By doing this, you can ensure everything is working properly before your telehealth visit starts. If your camera or speakers aren’t connecting to the online platform, try restarting your device before trying to log on again.
  • Ensure your camera is in a suitable location – If you’re using a laptop, place it on a flat surface and tilt it so your face is in the center of the screen. If you’re using a phone, you can prop it up on a desk or table. Regardless of the device you’re using, try to place it in a spot that offers adequate lighting so that the healthcare provider can easily see you.
  • Limit background noise – Turn off anything that might produce background noise, such as your television. If you’re in a busy household, try to find an empty room where you can have your appointment without interruption.
  • Come with questions – Write down any questions you have beforehand so that you remember to ask them during the appointment.
  • Be patient – Like a standard in-person visit, sometimes, telehealth appointments can run a few minutes behind. If this happens, stay patient and consider passing the time by reading a book or magazine.

During the appointment

Now comes the most important part. How does telehealth work?

There are a few ways to ensure your appointment goes smoothly while you’re connected with your healthcare provider, like:

  • Staying focused – Avoid eating or drinking during your VCV. Although this may seem obvious, you may not consciously remember to adhere to in-person appointment standards while you’re in your own home.
  • Taking notes – Healthcare providers often relay a lot of information in a short amount of time. You may find it helpful to take notes during the call to ensure you remember any treatment details or suggestions they mention.

After the appointment

Once you’re done with your appointment, there’s not much else to do—right? Well, not quite.

Post-appointment, make sure to do the following:

  • Schedule follow-up care – If your healthcare provider suggested a follow-up appointment, consider scheduling it immediately after you’ve completed your primary visit. The conclusion of your visit is also an ideal time to coordinate any other recommended care, like scheduling lab work and/or imaging or checking on the status of new prescriptions.
  • Reach out if you have any questions – After you’ve had a moment to absorb all the information you received from your provider, you may realize you have more questions. If you do, feel free to contact your provider to ensure you have all the information you need.

Find the telehealth care you deserve via Everlywell

The benefits of telehealth appointments are numerous. In addition to avoiding traffic and decreasing the spreading of germs, telehealth appointments give you access to qualified healthcare professionals at a time and place that’s convenient for you.

That’s why, at Everlywell, we make it easy to schedule virtual care visits so you can receive the advice and treatment you need exactly when you need it. Simply create your healthcare profile, then schedule a video call at a time that best fits your schedule. After your call, you’ll receive a personalized care plan that may include further testing or one-time prescriptions.

With nationwide support in all 50 states and care from licensed practitioners, we’re committed to offering better health services with you in mind. Reach out to us today to learn more.

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  1. Preparing for a virtual visit. Accessed February 22, 2023. URL
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