Telehealth visits during the spread of COVID-19
The rapid spread of COVID-19 in our community has affected all aspects of our daily lives and placed a great deal of strain on our healthcare systems. Our priority is to keep our patients, families and staff safe from a possible exposure to this virus. Limiting person-to-person contact is one of the best ways to avoid exposures.
We are working to expand the availability of telemedicine across all of our clinics so that we can continue to provide safe care to our patients using virtual tools that have been vetted by our Privacy and IT Security officers as well as the federal government.
Our clinics and urgent care locations will remain open for in-person care that is medically urgent and cannot be provided virtually.
If you need an appointment
Follow the usual process of scheduling by calling 206-987-2000. If your appointment should be virtual, we will schedule you for a telehealth appointment if the visit can be done virtually.
What is a telehealth visit?
A telehealth visit is similar to an in-person wellness appointment with your child’s provider. During the visit, you will talk about your current health concerns and learn what to do.
- Your visit can take place in a location that is the most convenient for you.
- Your provider will use a secure and HIPAA compliant video-based platform to talk with you by computer, tablet or smartphone.
- Your photo and voice will not be recorded or stored. Your privacy and rights will be respected and ensured.
After scheduling your appointment by phone, you will be sent details and instructions about your appointment. Just as with an in-person visit, please remember to cancel your appointment by calling your clinic if you are no longer able to make the appointment time.
Before your appointment:
- Prepare notes or have a list of topics you would like to discuss with your doctor.
- Make sure that you or the patient is present for the appointment.
- Make sure your device is plugged in or fully charged.
- Find a quiet place for your appointment. Whether you’re at home, work or traveling, choose a location where you have privacy and are less likely to get interrupted.
- Find space that is well lit. Position yourself so that the main light source is in front, lighting up your face.
- Set your camera at eye level. This will make it easier for the doctor to see and engage with you.
- Use headphones if you need privacy or if it will be easier for you to hear through headphones.
- Have the clinic’s number handy so you can call them in case you have technical issues or get disconnected during your visit.
Use MyChart to Manage Your Appointment
MyChart makes it easier to manage your appointments, including completing your pre-appointment paperwork and checking in electronically. If you don’t have a MyChart account, sign up now.
Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions
At this time, we are using Zoom for our video appointments. The version of Zoom we are using has security settings that make it compliant with our privacy requirements. The “meeting” can’t be joined by anyone that your provider does not allow to join, which prevents any unknown people from joining the video conference.
To participate in a video visit you will need to have:
- A personal device for the video visit. For the best experience, we recommend you use a larger screen. Desktop computer, laptops, and tablets screens are all good options. Smartphone screens may be used if other equipment is not available.
- An internet connection (video visits may take a lot of data bandwidth, similar to streaming a video)
- An email address
- My Chart log-in for Electronic Check in and Electronic Consent process (if applicable)
At the beginning of your appointment, your provider will also ask you for an alternate contact number to reach you, just in case you have trouble getting started or if you get disconnected during the appointment.
Be sure that your microphone is not muted and that your speakers are not muted. This way you and your provider can speak to each other. You will also need to make sure that your video stream is “started” so that you can see each other.
You should be able to see and talk to your provider. If your provider is having issues seeing or hearing you, they may contact you at the number that you provided to them at the beginning of your session.
At the start of your appointment, you may be placed in a virtual “waiting room” while waiting to start the visit with your provider.
No. A Zoom account is not required if you are only joining a Zoom Meeting as a Patient.
You can join a meeting by clicking the meeting link or going to join.zoom.us and entering in the meeting ID. Learn more about joining a meeting.
Yes, in order for the provider to see you and conduct the telemedicine appointment, you should use a device that has a video camera.
On most devices, you can join computer/device audio by clicking Join Audio, Join with Computer Audio, or Audio to access the audio settings. Learn more about connecting your audio.
Zoom is a free service for our patients. There is no cost or account required to use this service.
Yes, as long as it is compatible with the device you are using.
Echo can be caused by many things, such as a participant connected to the meeting audio on multiple devices or two participants joined in from the same local. Learn about common causes of audio echo.
If you are still having issues, please contact 1-888-799-9666 option 2. Please have your meeting id available.
Once your appointment has been scheduled, you will receive a link to participate in your telehealth appointment. This link might be set by email or text message. Follow the link to get to the Zoom website. You will then be prompted to download the Zoom software to use on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. This software is free to use and you do not need to create your own account.
After downloading the software, you will follow the prompts to complete setting up your account. Below are some screenshots of how this might look on a computer or smartphone.
Enter your preferred first and last name.
The next prompt will ask you how you’d like the audio (sound source) for the meeting to be connected. It is best to connect by computer or the audio on your tablet or smart phone.
The tool bar at the bottom of your screen should look like this. You may have to hover your mouse over the screen on your computer or tap the screen on your phone to get this toolbar to appear.
- Start with your camera at eye level
- Be in a private room with the patient with the door shut to prevent interruptions
- Plug in the device you are using during your visit to save battery
- Check the lighting to make sure it is not too dark, and the provider cannot see you or too bright and you are washed out
- Restart your device prior to the Video Visit
- Turn off your screensaver. If the device goes to sleep, it can disconnect from the internet and disrupt the video visit.
- Close any other programs or applications running on the device you are using to connect to your provider
- If using a Wi-Fi connection make sure you are close to the router
- If video is poor using a Wi-Fi connection, try connecting through ethernet from the modem/router to the device. You may have to ask others in your home to stop streaming video or gaming online.
- Download the latest version of Chrome or Firefox
- Know your back up plan in advance and have this document with you during the visit
- If you hear an echo, try the following:
- Turn down the volume to 25%
- Use a headset
- Use a different device