Like any visit to your physician, you’ll need to do a bit of legwork and provide some data upfront. Even if you’re not meeting up in person, your doctor will need to know the best way to treat you, and that means providing some history. Additionally, you’ll need to let your caregiver know about medications and allergies.
How Virtual Care Works
Meeting up online for a virtual care appointment will also require the right gear. You will need some sort of computer or tablet with video capabilities, where you will be able to see your physician and yourself, side by side or screen in screen. You’ll also want to have your smartphone close by.
Before your Georgia virtual urgent care visit, make sure that your insurance will cover telemedicine. As this form of healthcare has grown rapidly due to COVID, you may need to call to check that your policy will cover the appointment.
You’ll probably need to create a sign-in and a password to be able to log in to the urgent care provider system. This password will need to be as unique and secure as the one you use for your banking login.
Learn the Software
If you’ve never been to a Zoom meeting or Skyped with someone, find someone online to practice with so your virtual appointments can go quickly and smoothly. Many people find that they’re not comfortable using video, but medical professionals can tell a lot from your posture, skin condition, and general appearance. Don’t worry about angles, lighting, and other concerns. Let your doctor see your face.
Present Your Data
Always keep a list of your prescriptions handy and be ready to discuss any chronic concerns. If you’re on a medication for your heart, blood sugar, or anxiety, your urgent care physician will need to know to consider any negative interactions or other worries. Additionally, be certain to share any known allergies or unhealthy reactions to foods or over the counter medications.
Be Ready to Travel
Depending on your complaint, you may still need to go to the clinic or to your physician’s office on the next business day. For example, if you suffered a bout of dizziness on Saturday, contacted urgent care, then felt fine for the next 36 hours, you may be able to avoid labs. If your bout of dizziness caused a fall, you may need to go in immediately and get an x-ray, or you may need to go in Monday for blood work.
Be Prepared to Wait
Many medical practices, urgent care clinics, and emergency rooms are completely overwhelmed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Once you are in line to be seen by the doctor, be prepared to wait until you can be seen. You may be tethered to your technology for a time until the physician can see you.
Keep the meeting open and be ready to open another screen to do some reading or other online work. If you step away from the appointment, you may be timed out. If you allow the appointment to time out, professionals managing the virtual system may be forced to move on to the next patient, so don’t step away and abandon your appointment. Stay patient as possible while you wait for your caregiver to come online.
Telemedicine can never replace hands-on care and lab work. Your blood draws, even hours after the incident, can tell your physician a lot about your overall health. However, having access to telemedicine can reduce the time that you will spend in a physical waiting room or an emergency room, thus reducing your exposure to viral spread.