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Troubleshooting Telehealth appointment issues

Troubleshooting Telehealth appointment issues

If you're experiencing issues while holding a Telehealth call, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take, in addition to making sure you have the necessary equipment to host calls.

In this guide, we'll cover:

Note: If you're new to using Telehealth, see Getting started with Telehealth to learn how to prepare for your first call. For clients who are new to Telehealth, you can share our Getting started with Telehealth guide for clients.


Identifying necessary equipment

To host high quality Telehealth sessions, you'll need the following equipment:

  • A computer (laptop or desktop)
    • Your computer should have:
      • An integrated or external microphone
      • An integrated or external web camera
    • We recommend that your computer:
      • Has a 2.5 GHz processor and 4 GB of RAM
      • Is a newer device that has been purchased in the last two years
  • A mobile device 
    • This can be used in place of a computer
    • We recommend a mobile device with iOS 13, Android 10, or newer
  • A reliable internet connection 
    • Your internet connection should have: 
      • A minimum bandwidth of 0.35 mbps
      • For best results, we recommend a bandwidth of 10 mbps or higher
    • We strongly recommend:
    • If multiple clinicians in your practice are on Telehealth calls simultaneously, we recommend a bandwidth over 35 mbps

Note: If your device doesn’t meet the minimum requirements, the quality of your Telehealth appointments will be impacted. To learn more, see What are the minimum requirements for successfully using SimplePractice?


Resolving general Telehealth issues

If you’re experiencing Telehealth issues on a laptop or desktop and you’ve already confirmed that you have the necessary equipment, try the following steps:


Addressing waiting room discrepancies

If you and your client have entered a Telehealth session, you may encounter an issue where you’re both seeing the message: You are waiting for other participants to join…

waitingroomconnection.simplepractice.telehealth.png

This is often caused by a software conflict on either your device or your client’s device. Our team has observed that using a VPN or antivirus software may block the Telehealth waiting room connection.

To address this issue, you and your client(s) can try the following:

  • Remove any browser extensions that could be interfering with your browser’s connection
  • Add the following to the list of allowed domains for your VPN or antivirus software:
    • secure.simplepractice.com
    • video.simplepractice.com
    • account.simplepractice.com
  • If the issue only occurs on a specific internet connection, reach out to your internet service provider for assistance with troubleshooting your firewall settings
  • Check that your device meets our minimum requirements for using SimplePractice

If you and/or your clients use the NordVPN Threat Protection feature, we’ve identified instances in the past where this feature has blocked the waiting room connection. 

Note: While we strive to provide a seamless experience for all customers, we’re unable to provide guidance for third-party service settings or help with troubleshooting for third-party services. We recommend reaching out to the third party directly with any questions about your service.


Resolving audio issues

If you're experiencing audio issues on Telehealth:

  • Make sure that your volume isn't muted
  • Confirm that your speakers work
    • Test the sound and microphone by using another platform or application through your computer
  • Check to see if your computer is using the correct source for audio 
    • For example, your computer may be connected to Bluetooth earphones rather than your speaker
  • Close any open media player (Spotify, Facebook, etc.), as they can control your speakers until they're closed
  • Clear your browser cache and reopen the site 
  • Update your web browser to the latest version
  • Update your operating system
  • If you’re using a dedicated sound card, make sure its drivers are updated
  • Reboot your computer and try to play audio again
  • If you're hearing an echo, see Why am I hearing an echo?

Troubleshooting screen sharing issues with Google Chrome on macOS

If you're unable to screen share using Google Chrome on macOS, try the following steps:

  • Quit Google Chrome
  • Navigate to System Settings > Privacy & Security > Privacy > Screen Recording
  • Disable Google Chrome
  • Enable Google Chrome
  • Relaunch Google Chrome

If your organization uses an MDM such as Apple MDM or Jamf, have your IT department update the Privacy Preferences Policy Control for Google Chrome as outlined here: Enterprise Guide for Chrome Bug 1307502.


Additional tips to improve your Telehealth call quality

Connection problems can be caused by a variety of outside factors, such as poor internet connection.  

To improve the overall quality of your Telehealth calls, try the following:

  • Use a wired connection instead of WiFi whenever possible
    • Switching to using wired internet will give you a smoother and more consistent experience
    • Moving closer to your router can help decrease the amount of lag or interference you experience on Telehealth appointments 
  • Test your internet connection
    • You’ll see an indicator of your connection within the Telehealth window:

indicator.simplepractice.telehealth.png

  • Close other programs
    • If you have several programs running in the background, close them to  improve the quality of your call
  • Adjust your light
    • Place a lamp or other light source behind your monitor, pointed towards you
    • Make sure that you don’t have too much light behind you 
    • If you’re on a laptop, make sure the camera is at eye level and not pointing up at the ceiling lights or down at the floor
  • Turn off your video stream
    • If your audio becomes choppy, your connection or your client's connection may not be strong enough to support a live video stream 
    • Turning off your camera, or asking your client to turn off theirs, may help improve the audio quality of the call

Note: If you continue seeing issues with Telehealth after trying the steps in this guide, please send us an email request. For more information on sending an email request, see Getting support directly in your SimplePractice account.

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