A message from the Boca Grande Health Clinic: Scheduling 101 in times of transition

December 4, 2020
By Boca Grande Health Clinic

BY KELSEY CHAVARRIE AT THE BOCA GRANDE HEALTH CLINIC- The Boca Grande Health Clinic has expanded how we meet the healthcare needs of the community in these ever-changing times. If you have given us a call lately, you know we now offer virtual – or telehealth – appointments as well as in-office visits. 
What is a telehealth appointment? It’s a safe secure way of connecting with a physician from the comfort of your home. 
How do you prepare for a telehealth appointment? 
1. Check what type of technology you have. Telehealth appointments can be made with a smart phone, a laptop or desktop computer, even a tablet – as long as your device has a camera and a microphone so the physician can hear and see you during the visit. 
2. Connection speed is important. Being on a barrier island does make it tricky but check that you have a strong Wi-Fi or cell phone data service. 
3. Get prepared. Write a list of questions you have for the physician, get your medications ready to review, have a pen and paper handy in case you need to take some notes during the visit. 
4. Find a comfortable, quiet place where you can engage in your telehealth appointment. Turn off the TV or any excess background noise. 
5. Be patient and keep an open mind. If technical difficulties arise, know that the clinic staff will help find a solution. 
Checking in for your in-office or telehealth appointment is just as important as preparing for your visit with the physician. The clinic has invested in a new patient information intake system called Phreesia. It automates the check-in process and acts as a tool for the staff to use to connect with you from a distance. 
Having up-to-date demographic and insurance information on all patients is extremely important and this new tool allows us to gather this information in a secure and HIPAA-compliant fashion. When you make an in-office or telehealth appointment, you will receive a text message or email asking you to confirm your demographic and insurance information. This gives you the opportunity to ensure your information is correct. If you recently moved or added a new phone number, simply change it and it will be added to your electronic health record – no more paper registration forms to update. Phreesia also provides easy access to pay your statements online – no more waiting for a paper invoice or writing checks. 
The learning curve of change affects everyone, staff and patients. But together, we can overcome the challenges these times of transition have put before us. Noted playwright and Noble Prize winner George Bernard Shaw reminds us all that “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
Good things are happening at the Clinic and we look forward to sharing more news about our new software and how it will improve your entire care journey.