Make sure your tech works *before* the appointment starts.
You’ve set up your telemedicine appointment to discuss your psoriasis symptoms after much debate about whether it is right for you. The date is quickly approaching and you don’t know what to expect. Is this like any other in-person doctor visit? What’s the protocol? Here’s what you need to know in order to prepare for your telemedicine appointment.
What You Should Bring
It’s recommended you email pictures or videos of any problematic areas beforehand. For example, if you are meeting to talk about a new psoriasis flare, it’s a good idea to take pictures of your symptoms when they’re at their worst.
A list of pre-written questions is also helpful for your appointments. That way, you don’t forget to address any concerns. Just like in-person visits, your telemedicine appointment may seem to go by fast and you might be nervous, so it can be easy to forget certain things.
Similarly, some patients like to have a symptom diary handy. You can use a symptom diary in order to record when and where you experience a flare and what may have triggered it. It might be easy to forget these small details, so having the symptom diary right in front of you might ease your conversation.
What to Do Before Your Telemedicine Appointment for Psoriasis
To have the most efficient appointment, you’ll want to make sure you pick a quiet area. Pick a spot away from any distractions or noise. If family members like to hang out in the living room, perhaps don’t pick that room for your appointment. That said, it’s totally okay to have a family member sit with you during the appointment if you’re nervous or need help with technology.
Since you’ll probably be using a computer, tablet, or cell-phone, a strong internet connection is a must. You don’t want to face spotty service while you’re listening to your doctor’s treatment instructions. Consider testing your microphone and camera ahead of time in order to avoid any glitches in the middle of your session.
If you’re using a portable device like a tablet or laptop, make sure the device is fully charged and/or plugged in. Even if your device is charged, it’s a good idea to have a charger handy. Live video conferencing can sometimes use up a lot of battery.
If you have any questions about telehealth, talk to your doctor beforehand to get your questions answered. You could also talk with other friends or colleagues who regularly use telemedicine. They might have tips or tricks to make your appointment easier, or provide reassurance if you’re confused or nervous.
Lindsey Bordone, MD, is a dermatologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
- Appointment Prep Kit. Alexandria, VA: National Psoriasis Foundation. (Accessed May 17, 2021).
- How to Prepare for a Telehealth Appointment for Psoriasis. Denver, CO: Healthgrades. (Accessed May 17, 2021).
- Preparing for a virtual visit. Washington, DC. Department of Health and Human Services. (Accessed May 17, 2021).
- TELEMEDICINE: HOW TO PREPARE. Washington, DC: American Academy of Dermatology Association. (Accessed May 17, 2021).