In order to participate in telepsychiatry at Silva Psychiatric Care (SPC), you will need an internet-enabled device, such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer, equipped with a working camera and microphone. I recommend using either a smartphone or a tablet, because these devices are always so equipped, and will offer the most user-friendly interfaces. You will also need a strong and reliable internet connection. Any modern broadband connection will work; smartphones and tablets can also use cellular data to connect online.
If you use a desktop or laptop computer, Zoom must first be downloaded to your hard drive and then installed as a plug-in to the browser you will be using to connect to the internet for your appointments. Any browser can be used (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.), but downloading and installing a browser plug-in is a multi-step process that can be confusing if you are unfamiliar with it:
...whereas if you use a mobile device, such as a smartphone or a tablet, it will automatically install any downloaded application, making the process much simpler:
If you need to use a computer and you do not know how to install a browser plug-in, or you do not want to download any software, you can bookmark the AdvancedMD Telemed webpage, which you can visit in lieu of using the apps, though you will need to enter the unique visit code for every appointment, a code that you will only use once; visit codes are never reused.
If you use an Apple smartphone or tablet, you can also download the free Telemed app, which you can use to keep your online appointments, as well as access the Patient Portal, to check and manage your appointments:
Once you have installed the required software, you are ready for your first online visit. You will need a quiet and private place where you will not be overheard by unauthorized third parties and where you are unlikely to be interrupted. Your home is the best place for these visits, but some people with private offices at work find that they can conveniently await their appointments in my virtual (online) "waiting room," while continuing to multi-task at work, making it unnecessary to take time away from their work duties to receive treatment, although after-work and after-school early-evening appointments are also routinely available, as part of SPC's Concierge Medicine Practice Model.
You will receive several reminders in the days leading up to your appointment. Your first reminder will come in the form of an e-mail. You will continue to receive reminders until you either confirm or cancel your appointment. If you cancel, please notify me of the cancellation, so that I may reschedule you. If your primary contact telephone number is a cell phone, you will also receive a text message reminder following the initial e-mail reminder, if you have not yet responded. Once you respond by confirming your appointment, you will receive no further reminders. However, failing to confirm an appointment does not cancel the appointment. To cancel an appointment, and avoid being charged for a missed visit, you must select and submit "Cancel." You will always receive an e-mail acknowledging the cancellation.
Forty-eight hours before your appointment, you will receive the actual appointment e-mail, which will contain the active link that you will click to enter a completely private, online waiting room. This confirmation e-mail will contain a unique visit code--each appointment will have its own, unique code, which can never be reused--which you will need in order to access the virtual waiting room. If you click the link in the e-mail, Zoom will launch and the code will autopopulate; this works better than launching Zoom yourself and entering the code manually. If you cannot find your confirmation e-mail and code, simply notify me at the time of your visit by sending me a text at (432) 692-4525, and I will provide it again a few minutes before we meet.
IMPORTANTLY: It is bestnot to launch the Zoom or Telemedicine applications at the time of your appointment; your visit code will not autopopulate, and you will not be taken to my online waiting room, in many instances even if you enter the correct code.
It is sufficient to have Zoom installed on your device; simply follow the link in your confirmation e-mail and follow the onscreen instructions to your appointment. You should see the words “Waiting Room” and “Doctor.”
If instead you see “Waiting for the host to start the meeting,” or text that suggests that you could be the host, you are not in my online clinic, I will not see that you have arrived, and I cannot join you.
If at any time during this process you encounter technical difficulties, simply call or text me at (432) 692-4525, and I will be standing by to provide assistance. Sending a text to let me know that you are having trouble or otherwise running behind is best, as I will receive your message immediately, even though I may be in session with another patient, and unable to take your call at that moment.
NOTE: You will not be able to join the waiting room until 15 minutes before your appointment, on the day of the actual appointment, but clicking on the link in advance will allow you to add the appointment to your calendar:
Desktop and laptop users who click early will also have the option to save to their calendars with a single click: