The best tips for virtual care visits

What to do for your next video or phone visit.

Virtual care visits — also called telehealth, telemedicine and video and phone visits — provide an option to meet with a doctor or nurse when you're a little sick, or when you're not sure if you really need to get care in person. Virtual visits allow you to take appointments from the comfort of your own home, saving you time and money from traveling to and from the doctor’s office.

When should I choose virtual care?

Video and phone visits are more helpful for addressing certain types of health problems and symptoms*, such as:

  • Cough, congestion or sore throat
  • Diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
  • Urinary issues

It can also work well for managing some long-term health problems or getting regular follow-up care from a specialist.

Follow our best tips to make the most out of your next virtual care visit.


Check that you have the right device. Video visits will require a video-enabled device. For phone visits, you’ll need reliable reception. If your doctor uses a specific software application to meet with patients, follow their instructions to make sure you can access the application too.


Do your best to choose a quiet, private place for your virtual care visit. If you live with other people, let them know when your virtual care visit is scheduled and where you plan to have your visit. Turn off any TVs or speakers, except for the device you’ll be using. An empty room with no distractions works best.


Consider making a list of questions or concerns to discuss with your doctor. During your appointment, you can refer to your list to make sure you get the information you need.


After your appointment, check back for any new messages from your doctor in your email inbox or in your patient portal if your doctor uses one. You may get a prescription to fill if you need medicine, or you may be asked to come in for an in-person visit.

*Source: It's Safe to Get the Care You Need - Sharp HealthCare - San Diego

You may also like ...

Woman with notebook during video call

Physical therapy goes online (video)

Physical therapy sessions are moving to video visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sharp patient Maria Velez and her ophthalmologist, Dr. Tommy Korn.

Video visits help keep older adults safe at home

A 100-year-old patient uses FaceTime for eye doctor appointments.