Please watch this brief, 3-minute video, and be sure to carefully read the details that follow. (This page is best viewed on a desktop or laptop computer.)
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 instead you use a computer (including laptops), ZOOM video conferencing software 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 smartphones and tablets automatically install any applications downloaded onto them, making the process much simpler by connecting you directly to your visits.
Another advantage to using the Telemed app is that, in addition to using it to keep your visits with me, the app also provides access to the Patient Portal, which you will use to send me secure messages about your treatment and to request refills and callbacks, as well as to review any lab results you may have, check your medication and appointment histories, and access other portions of your medical record.
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 an e-mail confirmation when your appointment is first scheduled, and several reminders in the days leading up to your upcoming appointment. Your first reminder will come in the form of an e-mail. You will continue to receive daily 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 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.
The original confirmation e-mail will include an active link that you will click to enter a completely private, online waiting room. It will also contain a unique visit code--each and every appointment will have its own, unique code which can never be reused--which you will need to enter in order to access the virtual waiting room. This code usually autopopulates, but if not, you can simply enter it manually. Only the original confirmation e-mail will contain the visit code and the active link that will take you to my waiting room; reminder e-mails will not contain this information. If you cannot find your confirmation e-mail and code, try searching your e-mail archives for "Telemedicine Appointment with Dr. Silva." If you are still unable to find the visit code, simply notify me at the time of your visit by sending me a text, and I will provide it again a few minutes before we meet.
TIP: I strongly recommend that you add your appointment--including the code--to your calendar when you first receive the confirmation e-mail, obviating the need to keep track of a single e-mail, up to six months before the appointment itself. One easy way to do this is to click the link upon first receiving it. You will not be able to join the waiting room until 15 minutes before your appointment on the day of the actual appointment, but this will allow you to add it to your calendar with one click:
Desktop and laptop users who click early will also have the option to save to their calendars with a single click:
IMPORTANTLY: Do not 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 that you have Zoom or Advanced Telemed installed on your device; simply follow the link in your confirmation e-mail and follow the onscreen instructions to your appointment, or else bookmark the AdvancedMD Telemed webpage, which you can revisit in lieu of using the mobile apps, though you will need to enter the unique visit code, that you will only use once; visit codes are never reused. 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.
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