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Preparing patients for telehealth

Introducing patients to telehealth

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

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 (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 where to find the electronic Notice of Privacy Practices
  • The cost for a telehealth appointment
  • That the patient can end a session or seek in-person care at any time

Benefits of telehealth

  • Reduces everyone’s exposure to COVID-19
  • No need to commute, travel in bad weather, take as much time off of work, or arrange child care
  • Often able to see a provider more quickly, sometimes same-day
  • Ability to address health issues, often without leaving your home
  • Easier to access specialists who live elsewhere

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

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 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:

Last updated: November 2, 2020