Tips for Telehealth Appointments

How to Prepare for and Get the Most out of a Telehealth Appointment


1. Set up

  • Tips for Telehealth AppointmentsFind a quiet, private place to talk for about 30 minutes – away from children, pets and other distractions
  • Charge or plug your phone into your computer
  • Have paper and a pen for taking notes
  • Gather any new medical records or reports you might need to discuss
  • Have your list of medications ready to review
  • Gather the name and contact number for your retail and mail order pharmacy
  • Gather your primary doctor's name and contact information
  • Gather medical equipment such as a thermometer, asthma inhaler or peak flow meter, if appropriate
  • If you use an app or electronic device like a peak flow meter to track symptoms daily, gather your data to have it with you 


2. Objective

What do you want to accomplish during the visit? Prioritize what's most important for you during the call, as time may be limited. Write down your questions and concerns.

  • Understand your medications or treatment options?
  • Renew a prescription?
  • Review recent test results?
  • Get help for a specific medical condition or set of symptoms?


3. The process

You might talk to a medical assistant or nurse before you are connected with the doctor regarding:

  • Basic symptoms and reason for the appointment
  • Medical history, including chronic conditions
  • Prescriptions and over-the-counter medications or supplements you are taking


4. Talking with the Doctor

Your conversation with the doctor will be much like an in-person appointment. The doctor may be connected already and waiting for you at your appointment time, or they may be running a few minutes late to begin the virtual visit. Write down what you want to discuss before you start, to make sure you cover everything. Write down any instructions including medication changes in detail and confirm that you understand these recommendations before hanging up. Be prepared to answer these questions:

  • What prompted this appointment today?
  • What symptoms do you have?
  • How long have you had these symptoms, or have they changed since your last visit?
  • What treatments have you used and what were the results?
  • Have you had any important new tests, diagnoses, or treatments since your last visit?
  • Have you had any illness, urgent unscheduled visits to the doctor, or hospitalizations since your last visit?