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Introducing patients to telehealth

Help patients better understand what telehealth is, the benefits of virtual health care, and how to schedule a telehealth appointment.

Open laptop and stethoscope

Patients are likely to have questions about what to expect from a telehealth appointment. Here are some key topics to help them feel at ease.

Telehealth basics

  • Types of care you offer through telehealth, including when it’s a good fit for telehealth and when an in-person appointment may be needed
  • Options you provide for receiving virtual health care (video, phone, text, email, mobile health, remote monitoring)
  • Ways a telehealth appointment may resemble or differ from an in-person appointment
  • Ways you will protect their privacy and personal information (including directions to find electronic Notice of Privacy Practices)
  • Cost for a telehealth appointment
  • Opportunity patient has to end a session or to seek in-person care at any time

Benefits of telehealth

  • Limiting physical contact reduces everyone’s exposure to COVID-19
  • Visiting virtually can address health issues wherever patients are, even the comfort of home
  • Staying put cuts down on commuting, travel in bad weather, time off from work, need for child care
  • Using virtual health care tools can shorten wait to see a provider and expand range of access to specialists who live further away

Telehealth is not a perfect fit for every patient or medical condition. Make sure you also discuss any disadvantages or risks with your patients.

Tip: Tip Sheet for patients: 6 Ways to Power Up Your Health with Telehealth (PDF).

Appointment logistics

  • When you offer telehealth appointments
  • How to make an appointment
  • What technology your patient needs
  • How you can help them set up their telehealth technology
  • Who else will be present at the appointment other than the patient (interpreter, caregiver, clinical or technical assistant)

For examples of common logistical questions and answers, see:

Did you know that the Medicare’s Care Compare can help patients find and compare providers that offer telehealth services?