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Telemedicine During COVID-19: How to Make the Most of your Virtual Visit

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, the expanded use of telemedicine services is helping us keep lines of communication open between our patients and providers, while also limiting the spread of disease.

Since mid-March, many Penn Medicine physicians and advanced practice providers have been trained to offer telemedicine visits (also known as virtual visits) and are ready to connect with patients.

Telemedicine is useful in many situations where a patient is practicing physical distancing or is unable to go to a healthcare facility in person, but it’s not appropriate for every situation. Whether you are already a Penn Medicine patient, or a new patient, we have staff available who can help determine what’s right for you.

If you are a current Penn Medicine patient, please reach out to your provider by phone or through myPennMedicine to determine if a telemedicine appointment is right for you. If you are a new patient, please call 215-316-5145 to request a telemedicine appointment.

8 Tips for a Successful Telemedicine Visit

Here are some best practices to make your virtual visit as successful as possible for both you and your health care provider.

  1. Download and test the virtual visit platform you’re using for your visit on your computer or mobile device. It is important that you do this well before your visit so you are ready and able to connect with your provider during your scheduled appointment time. See instructions for BlueJeans, or connect to myPennMedicine for Penn Medicine OnDemand visits.
  2. Plan to be at home when your appointment begins and throughout your virtual visit.
  3. Choose a private, quiet space within your home where you can discuss any issues about your health.
  4. Choose a comfortable space where your provider can see you and you can perform the steps of an examination, which may include standing or walking.
  5. Make sure your Wi-Fi or cellular signal is strong. This will help ensure your appointment is not interrupted by a dropped signal mid-visit.
  6. Wear appropriate clothing for the type of visit you are having.
  7. Avoid positioning yourself with your back to a window or light source. When used as backlighting on a video call, light can give you a harsh silhouette and make it difficult for your provider to see you. Try sitting with your back to a wall with light reflecting on your face instead.
  8. Avoid distractions during your visit. Consider setting your mobile devices to “do not disturb” during your appointment time to limit cell phone calls, texts and emails.

Learn more about telemedicine offerings at Penn Medicine.

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