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Virtual Consults: Helpful Tips

Getting Started

Before we get started, check that you have:

  • Computer or tablet with webcam, or a cell phone
  • Speakers and microphone (or cell phone)
  • Signed up for the SGF Patient Portal
  • Ring Central link

Great! Let's get started. How to access the virtual consult?

From your Patient Portal, access the email sent to you by your clinical team. The information will look similar to this:

Hi there,
Your physician is inviting you to a scheduled Ring Central meeting.
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Click the link (like the one above) to connect to the Ring Central application.
In Ring Central:

  1. Select computer audio > Join Conference by Computer
  2. Locate the mute button in Ring Central (bottom left corner) in case of interruption during your virtual consult.

Use your computer speakers and microphone (or phone) to enable the audio.


What if my computer's speakers or microphone don't work?
Follow the same steps above to connect your computer. Then, using your phone, call the Ring Central phone number (provided in your Patient Portal email below the meeting link). When prompted, enter meeting ID. Information will look similar to:

Or Telephone:
+1(470)8692200 (US East)
Meeting ID: 123 456 7899

What if my video call fails to connect?
Transition the consult to a Ring Central phone call (see above for phone instructions).

Ring Central isn't working at all, now what?
If all else fails, your physician will call you directly on the phone number supplied to them by SGF's New Patient Center.

11 Tips to make the most of your Virtual Consult

Virtual consultations can be just as effective as face-to-face consultations. These quick tips will help you prepare in advance so you can make the most of the time together with your physician.


BE PRESENT. If applicable, both partner should plan to participate.
GET COMFORTABLE. Find a quiet space with minimal distractions and disruptions. It also helps to have a drink on hand.
LIGHTING. Make sure you are front lit. If you are back-lit, your physician will only see your silhouette.
POWER UP. Fully charge or plug in all devices. Check your WiFi or 4G/5G signal if not using a wired connection.
TEST. Become familiar with the technology you will be using, and locate the email in your Patient Portal ahead of time.
ADJUST WEBCAM. Make sure your webcam is eye level so you can make eye contact with your physician.
AUDIO AND FEEDBACK. Use headphones (or ear buds) to aid in keeping your consult confidential, and also to keep your hands free for note taking. Using these also helps you avoid hearing an echo or audio feedback. If you do not have ear buds or headphones, you can use your phone or computer audio. In order to reduce feedback, mute yourself when you are not speaking. (Mute hotkey: Alt+A)


INTRODUCE YOURSELF/YOURSELVES. Let your physician know who is participating in
today’s virtual consult.
Your physician will take a moment to confirm that you are able to see and hear him/her. Let your physician know if you are experiencing any technical difficulties.
RELAX AND COMMUNICATE. This is your visit. If you missed something because it was hard to hear or your require clarification, please let your physician know. Sometimes things
are more easily lost in translation during virtual visits, so it’s important to acknowledge that and
ask for clarification when needed.
WRAP UP. Make certain you understand next steps, whether it is setting up your next consult,
receiving testing or treatment instructions, or ordering prescriptions. A member of your Clinical
Team will be following up with you, usually within 24-48 business hours, via the Patient Portal.
Be sure you understand exactly what to expect moving forward at the end of your virtual consult.

We recommend these tips to make your virtual consult run as smoothly as possible. If you have any questions in advance, please contact your clinical team for assistance.

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