What is a Telemedicine?

What is a telemedicine?

Telemedicine Services means the delivery of medical services using interactive audio and visual electronic systems between a hospital and a patient that are not in the same physical location. These services may include teleconsultation, ordering of investigations, prescription, distribution of patient education materials or other medical services such as remote monitoring.

A teleconsultation is a consultation where you and your doctor are not in the same room as each other and use technology to be able to see and hear each other.

Why use teleconsultation?

If you choose it, you won’t have to take as much time away from work, waste time in traffic, pay for parking or public transportation, make child care arrangements, or sit in a waiting room with people who might have contagious illnesses.

Not all conditions are appropriate for a teleconsultation, it is particularly useful for patients living far away, for fragile, elderly patients for whom traveling to the hospital is difficult, for follow-up consultations for example after an operation or for patients having a chronic condition.

What are the main problems with teleconsultations?

  • Technological issues: the video connection may not work or it may stop working during the teleconsultation, or the video picture or information transmitted may not be clear enough to be useful for the consultation.
  • The doctor being unable to perform a physical examination must rely on information provided by you, and may be required to ask more questions to ensure that they get a comprehensive health history. If you leave out an important symptom that might have been noticeable during in-person care, this can compromise diagnosis and treatment

How can I get information about telemedicine?

Most important information is provided in this brochure, however we have set up a Healthcare at Home & Telemedicine Centre located at the front desk in the main lobby of FV Hospital and reachable by phone at +84 962 62 78 26 and by mail at telemedicine@fvhospital.com

The staff can provide information about all aspects of telemedicine, including the limitations of teleconsultations, the technical requirements, and all practical questions you may have. They also can provide information on other Healthcare at Home services such as Medication Delivery, Blood Collection, and more.

What equipment do I require for teleconsultation?

  • An e-mail address is recommended but not indispensable
  • A smartphone/tablet/laptop/PC equipped with webcam, microphone and speaker, installed with a video call/chat application: Zalo, Viber or Skype.
  • High-speed Internet access with minimum speed of 20 Mbps

How to book an appointment?

Log in to FV Hospital website (www.fvhospital.com) and click either on “Book an Appointment” or “Find a Doctor”. When you book your appointment please provide some key information such as your chief complaint or symptom(s), when it did start, important points of your past medical history, the medications you are taking, if you suffer from allergy.

You will be required to read the Consent Form and agree to have a teleconsultation. This can be done online on FV Hospital website or during a visit at the hospital.

Can a family member attend the consultation with me?

It might be helpful to have a family member sit in on the call with you to help take notes or to raise other concerns with the doctor if you forget something. However, we recommend to limit the number of persons attending the teleconsultation to 3 at the maximum.

Who will be part of the consultation?

At the time of consultation, you will see your doctor through a screen. Often the doctor will be supported by a medical secretary, and if necessary by an interpreter.

Assisted teleconsultations can also be arranged: if you book this service, a nurse will be with you in the room to assist you during the consultation, check your vital signs and, if ordered by the doctor, perform blood collection.

It is also possible, only with Skype, to have another participant who is in another location, for example if you have a doctor who resides in another country, this must be requested in advance in order to be organised properly.

What should I do during the consultation?

  • Be ready at least 15 minutes in advance, a medical secretary will call you on the day before and one hour before the consultation to confirm the exact time
  • Take your test results, x-rays or medications with you
  • If you use a computer, switch your mobile phone off or to silent mode
  • Focus on the session: just as you would during a face-to-face consultation, eliminate distractions and interruptions during the virtual visit and give your doctor your undivided attention
  • Speak clearly so your voice can be picked up by the microphone
  • Look at the camera so you can achieve good eye contact with the doctor
  • If you have a question or need help during the consultation, just ask
  • Take notes to remember the doctor’s advice

What happens during the teleconsultation?

You and the doctor, often a medical secretary (or an interpreter if you have required one), will be on a computer screen at each end of the teleconsultation. At the start of the consultation everyone will introduce themselves. You will be asked some identifying questions such as your name, address and date of birth. The doctor will provide a short explanation on how a teleconsultation works. Then your doctor will ask you questions in the same way as they would at a face-to-face consultation, and can also ask you to show some parts of your body or to perform some movements (it is called “doctor-directed patient self-examination”).

During the consultation you can send reports or images to the doctor who can view them on their PC during the call.

How long does it last?

When you book your appointment, you will be given the choice between 20, 30, 40 and 60 minutes. For logistical reasons we have to be quite strict regarding the duration of a teleconsultation, only the doctor may extend it for medical reasons and never for more than a few minutes.

What happens if I need more direct care?

During the teleconsultation your doctor may determine that your condition is not appropriate for a teleconsultation and may recommend a face-to-face consultation.

What happens if I need to have blood tests and/or x-rays?

Your doctor may decide that blood tests are needed, in that case you may be offered home blood collection (if you live in Ho Chi Minh City or nearby). You can also have your tests done at FV Hospital or at FV Clinic, or performed in another facility and you can send the test results via email to the medical secretary or use Zalo/Viber/Skype to send them to Telemedicine Centre. A follow-up teleconsultation will be organised to review the situation with the results of your blood tests.

Your doctor may ask you to have x-rays or other imaging tests, if you want to have them performed at FV Hospital or FV Clinic the medical secretary will book you an appointment. If you prefer to have them done in another facility you can send the reports via email to the medical secretary or use Zalo/Viber/Skype to send them to Telemedicine Centre, the doctor will then decide whether a new teleconsultation or a face-to-face consultation is required.

How private is a teleconsultation?

The same privacy and confidentiality requirements that apply to face-to-face consultations apply to teleconsultations. Documentation will be taken during the consultation by the doctor and will then be entered into your medical record, as would normally happen during a face-to-face consultation.

How to pay for a teleconsultation?

Advance payment is required for all teleconsultations including follow-up consultations.

After you have booked your appointment, the Telemedicine Centre or a medical secretary will contact you to send you the quotation and instructions on how to process the payment.

  • Online payment via bank transfer:
    • Payment must be in Vietnam Dong
    • Vietcombank
      • Account Name: Far East Medical Vietnam Ltd
      • Account Number: 1013105358 (VND)
      • Please add to the content of the transfer “Patient Full Name” and “Hospital Number”
    • HSBC
      • Account Name: Far East Medical Vietnam Ltd
      • Account Number: 001 047 695 101 (VND)
      • Bank address: 235 Dong Khoi St, Dist. 1, HCM, Vietnam
      • Swift code:  HSBCVNVX
      • Please add to the content of the transfer “Patient Full Name” and “Hospital Number”

You can also prepay one or several teleconsultations during a visit to FV Hospital.

Is teleconsultation covered by my medical insurance?

Please contact your insurance company to verify if your policy covers telemedicine.

Even if your insurance policy has a direct billing agreement with FV Hospital, we unfortunately cannot provide cashless service for telemedicine. We can help by preparing your claim and send it to your insurance if requested.

What if I need to cancel my appointment?

Teleconsultations require a lot of coordination at our end and at the doctor’s end so please try to keep your appointment. If you need to cancel refund is accepted only if you inform us two working days in advance.

Please note that all cancellations must be sent to us by email to telemedicine@fvhospital.com

For more information, please contact:

Healthcare at Home & Telemedicine Centre

FV Hospital, Ground floor, F Building

+84 962 62 78 26