Have a Successful Video Visit

Get the most out of VA Video Connect

During the COVID-19 pandemic, secure video visits are the safest way to connect with your health care team for care that is not an emergency. With preparation, patients and providers should expect the same results from a virtual visit as a face-to-face one. With practice, we hope you'll have a great session and finish it with the same satisfaction as a regular office visit.

Prepare your room and technology

A video visit with a provider may use the same technology as a family video chat, but it's different. Just like a face-to-face office visit, you need to prepare yourself, as well as your 'home studio.' You can follow this checklist:

  • Use headphones or earbuds if possible

  • Clean the device's camera lens

  • Find a well-lit, private space that is free of distractions (pets, children)

  • Turn off music, TVs, or radios to avoid competing for noise

  • Avoid holding your device in your hand; position it so it's close to eye level when sitting, maybe on a stack of books at a table, or on a bookshelf. Motion can blur the video picture.

  • Sit near your WiFi router, or a window, if using a cellular connection

  • When entering the VA Video Connect visit, make sure the video icon is selected and the device's sound is turned up

Best medical practices for you

In-person office visits include confidential information from you as well as from your provider; if you are normally accompanied by a spouse, partner, or family member, be sure the provider knows you're not alone.

Coming prepared for a virtual visit helps you get the best care possible. Review health records and medication lists (or prescription bottles) before the appointment to refresh your mind and spark questions. You will be able to share your screen and show your provider documents or websites if you wish. If your provider asks your location, it's only so they can help you if there's an emergency.

After you complete a virtual visit, you can view doctor's notes and instructions in My HealtheVet. If you have questions, follow up with your health care team using Secure Messaging (sign in required), you will receive a response within three business days.

Understand that a virtual visit shouldn't be used in cases of emergency. If you need immediate assistance, call 911 or go to the closest Emergency Department.

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