In today’s Telemedicine blog we are going to describe the process by which your AthenaPractice can use Microsoft Teams (it’s already part of your Office365 platform!) to enable Telemedicine video conferencing in your practice.
If you don’t have Office365, Microsoft is made Teams free for anyone for the next several months. Please follow this link to learn more.
Microsoft Teams free for everyone
Step by Step Instructions
The Scheduler first launches the Teams application on their own computers. If they are already using Office365, it’s the user’s O365 login credentials. Once in open, click on Calendar on the left menu
Scheduler’s steps to set up the Telemedicine appointment:
- Create an appointment in CPS Schedule, choosing the Telehealth appointment type and noting in the patient notes field the initals of the person scheduling the appointment.
- Check registration to make sure the patient email address is present, if not ask for one, as this is how the patient will get an invite to the meeting. Also, add your initials in note i.e. initials of staffer making the booking.
- In Teams calendar, choose date and time by double clicking the empty appointment block or click New Meeting button up top.
- First-line (pencil) – title the appointment, with the provider name and patient name, for easy identification.
- Second-line – type in first few letters of provider O365 email, it should auto-find, click on provider name so they will get email invite. NOTE: this must be the provider O365 email address, not an outside Gmail, Yahoo, etc. email.
- Then copy the patient email address from CPS registration, and paste in the same line, so they will get an email invite.
- Click SAVE. Appt now appears in the Scheduler’s Teams calendar, invite emails are sent to provider and patient. The appointment is complete.
Related: Performing Telemedicine Visits in AthenaPractice (formerly Centricity Practice Solutions)
- If a patient calls back to request reschedule or cancellation of the telehealth appt – Scheduler should do the following –
- Move or delete appt in CPS schedule, as usual
- If rescheduled, go ahead and add new Teams meeting to your Teams calendar, adding provider and patient emails, so new invites will be sent
- Note the initials of the Scheduler who made the original appt in CPS – that Scheduler will have to be contacted (CPS flag or verbal) in order to remove the original Teams appt from their personal calendar. This will then send cancellation emails to the provider and the patient. Right-click the earlier appt and choose CANCEL.
The Patient receives an email calendar invite to the telehealth meeting.
- The invite will have a clickable link to join the meeting, which can be used directly from email, or the Patient can click on Accept and add an event to their personal Outlook or Google calendar, etc.
- The Patient should open the invitation in his calender when it’s time to start the appointment.
Related: Telemedicine Billing Guidelines in AthenaPractice (formerly Centricity Practice Solutions)
The provider sees in his CPS schedule that he has a telehealth appointment, and looks into his own Teams calendar for Telemedicine meeting details.
- The appointment will be there with the Provider and Patient’s name, as previously entered at the time appointment was made.
- Select the appointment, click on the JOIN button in the upper right corner, or alternately click the Join Microsoft Teams Meeting within the invite.
- The Provider will then join the meeting. If the Provider is in before the patient, the Provider will see “Waiting for Others to Join”.
- Once the patient joins, Teams will pop up an alert that the patient is waiting in Lobby. When the Provider is ready to start the meeting, the Provider clicks Admit.
From the Patient perspective when its time to start the appointment, the Patient will need to complete a few short steps.
- If the Teams application is not installed on the Patient’s computer, after clicking on the Join Microsoft Teams Meeting link from within the invite on the calendar, the Team’s website will open and the meeting will begin
- If the patient sees any prompts for access in his web browser, choose Allow Access
- If the Teams application is installed on his computer, after clicking on the Join Microsoft Teams Meeting link from within the invite the Team’s website will open and the Patient will be prompted to start the Teams application.
- If the patient is using his mobile device, the patient will be prompted to download the Microsoft Teams Application from Apple Store (iOS) or the Play Store (Android) before the meeting will start.
If the Patient arrives first, he will stay in the virtual Lobby and will the screen below, until the Provider admits him and the meeting begins.
- Both the Provider and the Patient have buttons to control Video on/off, and Audio on/off.
- At the conclusion of the meeting, both sides can click Red Phone to hang up
If you need any help at all setting up this platform, please contact us!
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