Before you take part in a telehealth video counseling session, you should understand what to expect and what the risks and benefits can be. Please read the following:
The following hardware is needed:
- A computer (Mac or Windows), tablet, or mobile device (such as an iPad, iPhone, or Android device)
- An attached or integrated web camera
- A reliable Internet connection—video conferencing works best when you are using a fast Internet connection. The following minimum Internet connection speeds are recommended:
- Download speed: 12 Mb/s
- Upload speed: 0.5 Mb/s (512 Kb/s)
- You can test the speed of your connection here—http://www.speedtest.net/
- WiFi connections may not deliver the consistency required for video conferencing. When connecting to the Internet, consider using a direct connection to your router or cable modem via an Ethernet cable.
- An attached or integrated microphone (ideal, but a telephone can be used instead)
- Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 (Note: We do not support Windows 8 RT for Surface tablet.)
- Mac OS X 10.6 and above
- iPad iOS 5.0 or later
- iPhone iOS 5.0 or later
- Software requirements:
VSee (secure video conference service)
- Firefox users, please click here for a video tutorial on VSee installation.
- Internet Explorer users, please click here for a video tutorial on VSee installation.
- Safari users, please click here for a video tutorial on VSee installation.
Test Your Set-Up
We use a secure video conference service called VSee. You may download VSee and enter your counselor’s waiting room at any time.
Need help getting started with VSee? Please click here.
If you would like to do a live test with a representative, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. At the time of your live test, click here. Please click on the link to join the meeting about five minutes before the arranged time.
Audio/video quality issues:
Sometimes you might experience poor quality audio or video. Most often this is caused by one or more users having:
- A firewall that is preventing an optimal connection.
- Insufficient bandwidth for the call(s).
- Insufficient CPU (processing) power.
For problem (1): Disable any firewalls that may be running, or add an exception for the VSee program.
For problem (2): Reduce number of callers or video resolution/frame rate.
For problem (3): Reduce number of callers or use a more powerful computer.
If you continue to have audio/video issues, please contact VSee here.
If you cannot see the video image from another user, while they can see themselves on their end, it generally means that there has been some kind of network issue that has disrupted the video stream. Both parties should try restarting VSee and resuming the call. Often this resolves the issue.
If a user cannot see themselves, please refer to How to Choose Microphone and Camera.
- Make sure that the other party has not muted their microphone.
- Check if your remote person has selected the correct audio input device. Go to the settings icon on their local video window, and select “Audio/Camera Setup.” If this doesn’t resolve the issue, restart VSee to sync with the device; then, reselect the device.
- Check if you selected the correct audio output device. Go to the settings icon on their local video window, and select “Audio/Camera Setup.” If this doesn’t resolve the issue, restart VSee to sync with the device; then, reselect the device.
On iPad & can’t connect:
- Make sure you’ve installed the free Vsee software through the iTunes app store.
- Try completely closing the app (e.g., double click iPad home button and hold the G2M icon to close it), then start again.
- See iPad instructions.
When all else fails: When all else fails, try completely closing your browser (e.g., Explorer, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox), then reopening and starting again.
Bigger technical issues?
To troubleshoot issues with your audio or webcam, contact VSee by chat, e-mail, or phone, or call Andrea or Dan at 800.438.1772.
Telehealth Tips—Tips for Optimizing Your Online Video Experience
Please be contactable by phone. Make sure you exchange DIRECT phone numbers with your counselor in case there are any problems on the day of your session.
- Try to use WiFi or wired, if possible.
- 3G may result in poor image quality, and the call may cut out easily.
- No concurrent Internet use: no online games, downloading movies, etc. (check on Internet use of others if at home).
- If the picture isn’t good enough (e.g., pixelated or the call keeps cutting out), use the 800 telephone number for the audio.
- Have a phone with speaker function handy in case you need to use the 800 telephone number for the audio.
- Most cameras and computers have a built-in microphone, but check this in advance.
- Look at the video of yourself on the screen to check how you look to the other party.
- Frame yourself according to the “rule of thirds” (angle not too high, not too low).
- Avoid writing too many notes (the other party will just see the top of your head).
- Make sure everyone in the room is in view (at both ends).
- Make sure your camera is positioned next to the video on your screen (to help improve line of sight/eye contact).
- Know in advance who will be involved in the session so you can have your questions ready.
- Ensure that children/siblings are cared for during the session so you do not need to attend to them.
- Reduce other distractions in advance (no kids playing within earshot, etc.).
- Prepare children in advance for a telehealth video session—they can enjoy seeing their counselor through the computer, which can be a helpful way to keep them interested.
Recording this session is not permissible without written consent by everyone involved in the session. Written notes may be taken by anyone involved.
What Do I Do at the Time of My Appointment?
Five minutes before your counseling session, follow these instructions to join your online counseling session.
Go to Connect with Your Provider, then select your provider on the page. If you are not sure which provider to select, please contact 800.438.1772 in advance.
- Enter your name and the reason for your visit.
- After you enter the waiting room, your video, speakers, and microphone will be active.
- When your counselor enters the waiting room, you can test the quality of your connection.
- Please have your telephone available. We’ll call you if there are any problems.
- If you can’t make the appointment, please call us to cancel or reschedule at 800.438.1772.
Who will be part of the session?
- Your session will be between you and your counselor. In the event that support is needed with equipment or other technology issues, you will be asked permission to allow support staff to enter a session. You can always ask for them to leave the session at any time.
- Your session is considered to be confidential and private. As in a face-to-face session, you are welcome to have additional participants with you at your end—just please make sure you introduce them and be sure they are visible on the screen.
What about privacy?
As with a face-to-face session:
- No one may record the session without written consent by all involved.
- We will keep a written record of the counseling session, and this will go in your clinical notes.
- You may request a copy of your records as outlined in our Privacy Notice.
- As with any counseling session, there are limits to confidentiality, which are listed in the Informed Consent.
What Happens Afterwards?
- If we have verified insurance coverage, we will not bill you until your claim is processed. You may be responsible for co-payment or deductible charges.
- For those without verified insurance: We offer a one-hour session for $75, paid at the time of service.
- If you choose to pay privately, we will collect payment with a credit or debit card at the $75 per hour discounted rate.
- A statement of service can be provided for you to submit to your insurance.
- Check with your HSA or FSA plan for reimbursement for telehealth.
The principles are the same as a normal session:
- You will be offered a follow-up session as needed. This could be by video again, in person at a Christian Family Solutions clinic, or at another referral resource recommended by your counselor.
- If you’re not comfortable with online video counseling, you can choose to meet with a counselor face to face next time—the choice is yours. If you are not located near a Christian Family Solutions clinic, we will offer resources in locating a mental health professional near you.