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Virtual care: Tips to make the most of your next online appointment

 
Man uses his cell phone for a virtual appointment.

Virtual care is the safe, secure and convenient way to meet with your health-care provider without having to come to the hospital. Make the most of your next online appointment by following these practical tips:

New to virtual care? Read the virtual care FAQs.

A few days before your virtual appointment

  1. Ask for help if you need it. If you think you will need help setting up your device for your appointment or support during your appointment, tell a caregiver or family member the appointment date and time so they can be there with you.
  2. Sign up for an Ottawa Hospital MyChart account if you don’t already have one.
  3. Plan to be available 30 minutes before and after your scheduled appointment unless the person booking your appointment asks you to be ready earlier or later.
  4. Gather important information, including
    • a list of medications you are taking
    • your health insurance card (OHIP card)
    • your health history notes
    • any questions for the doctor
    • the name and address of your pharmacy
    • the doctor’s phone number in case you need to call

Note: the clinic may call you before your virtual appointment to ask you about your health history, including your

  • chronic conditions
  • prescription medications
  • allergies
  • immunizations
  • past surgeries and hospitalizations
  • the health history of people in your immediate family (siblings, parents)

The day of your virtual appointment

Set up the space where you will have your virtual appointment.

  • Choose a private space.
  • Make sure it has good lighting so the doctor can see you.
  • Turn off anything in the background that may make noise.
  • Plug in your device (smartphone, tablet, or computer) or make sure it is fully charged.
  • Use earphones or headphones if you have them. They provide better sound quality and more privacy.
  • Have a pen and paper ready for you to take notes.

Important!

Answer any calls from unknown or blocked phone numbers at the time of your appointment. It may be the doctor trying to call you.

A woman sits in front of her laptop with a pen in her hand.

Choose a private, quiet space with good lighting for your virtual appointment.

What kind of virtual appointment will you have?

What to expect during your Zoom Direct-to-Patient virtual appointment

  • Please begin your virtual appointment 30 minutes before it is scheduled to start unless the person booking your appointment asks you to be ready earlier or later. Wait for the doctor to start the Zoom meeting.
  • Please also be available for 30 minutes after your scheduled appointment end time in case the doctor is running late, and the appointment runs late.
  • To launch your virtual appointment, please access the link through your MyChart account or via a link sent by email if offered at the time of booking.
  • You may need to wait in a virtual waiting area online before the doctor joins the video appointment, so please keep your video appointment open.

Once the doctor joins the virtual meeting, please

  • stay in front of the camera so the doctor can see you
  • speak clearly so the doctor can hear you
  • tell the doctor if someone else is with you and introduce them
  • tell the doctor your symptoms and answer questions as clearly and directly as you can
  • make notes about what the doctor says during the appointment
  • ask questions if anything isn’t clear

A woman sits at her desk and types on her laptop.

Please begin your virtual appointment 30 minutes before it is scheduled to start unless the person booking your appointment asks you to be ready earlier or later.

What to expect during your OTN virtual appointment

  • Please begin your virtual appointment 30 minutes before it is scheduled to start unless the person booking your appointment asks you to be ready earlier or later.
  • Please also be available for 30 minutes after your scheduled appointment end time in case the doctor is running late, and the appointment runs late.
  • To launch your virtual appointment, please search for an email from “OTN no-reply” that was sent to you at the time of booking or the day before your appointment as a reminder. Click the link in that email.
  • You may need to wait in the online virtual waiting area before the doctor joins the video appointment, so please keep your video appointment open.
  • Once the doctor joins the virtual meeting, please
  • stay in front of the camera so the doctor can see you
  • speak clearly so the doctor can hear you
  • tell the doctor if someone else is with you and introduce them
  • tell the doctor your symptoms and answer questions as clearly and directly as you can
  • make notes about what the doctor says during the appointment
  • ask questions if anything isn’t clear

What to expect during your Direct-to-Patient telephone appointment

  • Your appointment will start when the doctor calls you. Answer any calls from unknown or blocked phone numbers at the time of your appointment. It may be the doctor trying to call you.
  • Once the doctor calls you, please
  • speak clearly so the doctor can hear you
  • tell the doctor your symptoms and answer questions as clearly and directly as possible
  • make notes about what the doctor says during the appointment
  • ask questions if anything isn’t clear

A woman sitting in a black chair talks on her cell phone.

Answer any calls from unknown or blocked phone numbers at the time of your appointment. It may be the doctor trying to call you.

What to expect after your virtual care appointment

Once the virtual appointment is over, you may receive an After-Visit Summary (AVS). The AVS may include:

  • important information or messages from your health-care provider
  • prescriptions to take to your pharmacy
  • requisitions for tests

You can see your AVS through your MyChart secure messaging app or a link will be sent to your email address. Please check your email and your MyChart account for your AVS after your appointment.

 
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This website gives you common facts, advice and tips. Some of it may not apply to you. Please talk to your doctor, nurse or other health-care team member to see if this information will work for you. They can also answer your questions and concerns.