How to get the most out of your Virtual Doctor’s Appointment

November 11, 2020

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Canadians are having virtual healthcare appointments for the first time. The way we care for patients at Humber River Hospital (and across the country) is changing, but whether your appointment is happening face to face, over the phone, or through a screen, we are committed to the best possible patient care and safety.

“We want our patients to feel comfortable asking questions and taking an active role during any kind of appointment,” says Jennifer Yoon, Senior Director of Professional Practice, Quality & Patient Safety at Humber River Hospital. “Virtual appointments are new to many patients, but we want them to feel just as confident in their care as they would during an in-person appointment.”

To get the most of your virtual appointment:

  • Become comfortable with the technology before your appointment. At least 10 minutes before your appointment starts, find a comfortable set up in front of your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Then once your appointment starts, stay in front of the camera and speak clearly.
  • Arrive at your virtual appointment organized. It might help to write out some lists ahead of time including any symptoms, allergies, medications, vitamins, treatments or past procedures, and of course any questions you want to ask.
  • Feel comfortable asking your healthcare provider for their name, role, and where they are located if you don’t already know.
  • If you have a family member or friend joining you for your virtual appointment, introduce them to your healthcare provider.
  • Explain any symptoms you are having clearly, and describe how you are managing those symptoms.
  • Ask your healthcare provider for their opinion and recommendations.
  • Ask about follow up plans, and ask what to do if your symptoms do not improve or get worse.

For anyone looking to learn more, Jennifer recommends visiting the Canadian Patient Safety Institute website for additional resources and information.