How to access your doctor during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Telemedicine or remote consultation is a time-tested method of patient- doctor interaction. Although not very common in the UK, it has been commonly used in many parts of the world. The consultation typically takes place over the telephone or online. This tool is now more important than ever with the changing circumstances regarding Covid 19 and the challenges of self-isolation and social distancing.

My top tips on remote consultation:

  • 1. Make an enquiry from your GP or from the relevant clinic if your clinical condition is suitable for remote consultation.
  • 2. Find out if the relevant clinic offers remote consultation.
  • 3. Check if you have the technology to support a remote consultation. It will require a smart phone/tablet/computer with a web camera and microphone.
  • 4. Check if you have a reliable internet connection and an internet usage plan.
  • 5. Check if you feel comfortable using the technology. If not, consider arranging a helping hand from friends and family.
  • 6. Ensure you have the privacy at home to maintain confidentiality.
  • 7. Choose a quiet private space and test the technology beforehand at the same place where you are planning your consultation.
  • 8. Make sure you can be seen clearly on the camera and the lighting is adequate. Adjust the volume of the microphone.
  • 9. Be prepared for the next step if the technology fails: convert to telephone consultation or arrange another day.
  • 10. Keep a notepad and pen handy. Keep any questions ready. Repeat things and ask for clarifications to capture vital information. If in doubt, do not hesitate to ask for written instructions.