Getting Ready for Your Online Doctor Visit

Online doctor visits are a good way to make sure you get the orthopedic care you need during the COVID-19 pandemic. At OrthoIllinois, Dr. Van Thiel and his team make getting in-home medical care as easy as possible with, a leading, state-of-the-art telehealth system developed specifically for ease of use. With’s telemedicine system, having an in-home doctor visit with Dr. Van Thiel is as simple as scheduling an appointment with Dr. Van GThiel’s office, then logging in to the system when your appointment time arrives.

Even though telehealth has been around for awhile, it’s still relatively new to a lot of people. The good news is, it’s really easy to have a doctor appointment at home. 

How to get the most from your online doctor appointment?

  • First, find a quiet spot to talk with Dr. Van Thiel. Background noise, like television, music or even conversations can be distracting, so find a quiet room where you won’t be interrupted during your appointment.
  • Test your camera and microphone ahead of time, if you can. One way to do this is to use Skype, Facetime or Facebook video chat with a family member to ensure your microphone and camera are working. You can use your smartphone or a computer (laptop, desktop, notebook or tablet) for your telehealth appointment with Dr. Van Thiel.
  • Have someone with you. If privacy is not a concern, it can be helpful to have a family member or other trusted loved one with you during your visit — that’s true whether your visit is in person or over the internet. Having a trusted person with you lets you focus on what the doctor is saying while someone else takes notes about care instructions.
  • Make a list of questions and concerns ahead of time. Again, this is good advice regardless of whether you’re having a telehealth appointment or an in-person visit. Writing down questions ahead of time ensures you won’t forget anything during the appointment. 
  • Write down any treatment steps you’ve taken so far. For instance, if you’ve taken a pain medication or used ice packs for a sore muscle or joint, make a note of it so you can let Dr. Van Thiel know what you’ve already tried. If you’ve had a similar injury in the past, let him know that, too. This type of medical and treatment history can help Dr. Van Thiel tailor your treatment based on what’s “worked” in the past.
  • Have a pen and paper ready to write down instructions Dr. Van Thiel may give you. And be ready to provide your pharmacy telephone number in case Dr. Van Thiel gives you a prescription.
  • Be sure you have a good internet connection. Most of us have areas of our homes where the WiFi signal isn’t quite as strong. Try to be close to your router (the device that’s connected to your incoming internet wire) or in an area where your internet connection has always been strong.
  • Use good lighting. Depending on your issue, Dr. Van Thiel may ask to see the joint or body area that’s causing concern. Having good, focused lighting makes it easier for him to perform a visual exam from his “side” of the screen.

A first time for everything

If you’ve never used a telehealth system before, the first time can seem a bit nerve-racking. But once you begin your visit, you’ll soon see how simple it is to chat with Dr. Van Thiel using your phone or computer. And of course, if you have any questions about using our system, you can always give us a call or ask us about the system when you make your appointment. You can also read about the Doxy telehealth system by visiting the website.

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has caused all of us to make some major changes in our lives and in our regular habits — and that includes the way we get healthcare. With our easy-to-use telehealth system, getting the orthopedic care you need is simple and convenient. To schedule your online doctor visit with Dr. Van Thiel, give us a call at (779) 774-1110 and book an online appointment today.


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