Telemed

VMC implemented a HIPAA-compliant telemedicine platform through Zoom Healthcare early on in the pandemic.  This allowed us to stay in touch with our patients and to help several through COVID-19 while remaining in the safety of their home.  Now, it's a convenient way to have an appointment for something that either does not need an in-person examination or for someone who is sick.

Preparing for your telemed appointment

Please complete the following steps prior to your appointment:

  • Download and install the Zoom Meeting app to your smartphone or computer (with a webcam) at https://zoom.us/support/download.  You do not need to have an account with Zoom in order to use the application.

  • Take your own vital signs.  Write down the following information to report to us:

    • weight (if you have a scale)

    • temperature.  This needs to be accurate - please follow your thermometer's instructions.

    • pulse.  Here is a YouTube video on how to determine your pulse:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHHr8qNU9QY

    • blood pressure.  Please follow your monitor's instructions.  Here is a YouTube video on how to do this:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVMxIB388XI  If you do not have a cuff, consider getting one for future use.  They are relatively inexpensive and available either online or at a pharmacy.

    • respiratory rate. 

      • Set a one minute timer.

      • Sit upright.

      • Start the timer.

      • Breathe normally.

      • Count the number of times your chest rises and falls in 60 seconds (one rise and fall is counted as one breath).

When it's time for your appointment:

  • Open the Zoom app.

  • Enter the Zoom meeting ID (we will provide this to you) in the "Meeting ID" box

  • Upon clicking "Join" you will be prompted to enter the meeting password (we will provide this to you) go ahead and enter that once prompted by Zoom.

What to expect during your appointment:

The flow of your visit from this point is very similar to a visit in the office: ​

  • You will wait in the "virtual exam room" for a bit until one of our medical assistants is ready to help you.  Be assured we will be with you as soon as we can.

  • One of our medical assistants will join the meeting.  From there it's similar to being in the office - they'll:

    • Obtain your telemedicine visit copay (we pull this from your insurer's benefits website) - please have your credit card information ready

    • Confirm the reason for the visit

    • Obtain additional details you would like to provide

    • Obtain your current medication list, allergies, etc.

    • Obtain the vital signs you obtained for us prior to your appointment

    • Ask a few additional questions

  • Once the medical assistant has completed their work, they will place you back in the "virtual exam room" while the physician wraps up with the patient before you.  They will be with you as soon as possible.

  • The physician will join the meeting and meet with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Limitations of Telemed

While telemed is a wonderful tool, please bear in mind:

  • There is no way we can perform certain aspects of a physical exam, e.g., listening to your lungs, bowel sounds, heart, looking in your ears, throat, other body areas, etc.;

  • There is no way for us to perform in-office diagnostic testing, e.g., lung function tests, EKGs, etc.

  • There is no way for us to perform in-office lab tests, e.g., strep tests, influenza tests, mono tests, urine tests, etc.

  • There is no way for us to draw your blood.  We may email you a lab order to be done at a draw station if appropriate.

We therefore are relying on you to provide as detailed of a history and explanation of your symptoms as possible during the telemedicine visit.  There are circumstances in which, upon consulting with you via video, we may have you visit an urgent care or emergency room should the aforementioned exam and diagnostic data be required to establish a diagnosis.

It is also extremely important to bear in mind if your symptoms worsen (i.e., if you transition from mild / moderate symptoms to severe symptoms) or if new symptoms which are severe (or on their way to becoming severe) in nature come about you, a family member, caregiver, friend, etc. should call the emergency room closest to you to convey your symptoms.  In any emergency always call 911 and have someone able to convey this same information to the 911 dispatcher and EMS personnel upon their arrival.