What to Expect at a Telemedicine Visit
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What to Expect at a Telemedicine Visit

In the past, telemedicine was primarily used for inpatients for like Neurology, Emergency, ICU, and to connect with specialists at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Now, telemedicine is also the primary way for our providers to connect with patients in our community. We have never been able to take care of patients in this way in the past.

Dr. Bob Schwartz, medical director of SVMC Northshire Campus, answers the most common questions about connecting with your provider in this new way.

  1. How do I access telemedicine services as a patient at home? Simply call your primary care provider and request a telemedicine visit. The staff will give you an appointment time. Prior to the appointment, a front desk staff member will call to register you just as if you presented to the office for an appointment. At your appointment time, a nurse will call to ask you some questions and to explain how to start the session. Your provider will sent you a link, you click on it, enter your name, press a button on the screen, and you are in the virtual waiting room.
     
  2. What kinds of technology do I need to use telemedicine? You need to have a device that has video capability, such as a smart phone, tablet, or computer. You must turn on the camera and microphone prior to the visit in your settings. (Most devices have this turned on already.) There is no app download needed. The process is very simple from the patient’s perspective, and most patients have not needed any assistance in getting connected. If you need to get care but don’t have a device, the office may decide to set up a phone visit or to have you come to the office.
     
  3. What steps are being taken to ensure my privacy when using telemedicine? The application being used by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam providers at Northshire, Deerfield, Twin Rivers, Pownal and most providers on the hospital campus is HIPAA compliant.
     
  4. Have providers seen an increase in the number of patients using or interested in using telemedicine from home? Our use of telemedicine has almost entirely replaced in-person visits in the office. This allows patients to get the care they need without risking exposure to the Coronavirus. There are still some visits that should take place in person. You can discuss your needs with your provider and determine which type of visit is best to meet your medical needs safely.
     
  5. How many patients have utilized telemedicine in response to COVID? Several hundred.

For more information about how to access health care via telemedicine, contact your primary care office. To download telemedicine check-in onstructions, click here

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