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Troubleshooting Telehealth appointment issues

Troubleshooting Telehealth appointment issues

If you're experiencing issues hosting a Telehealth call, there are a few preliminary troubleshooting steps you can take. This guide will provide next steps to resolve video or audio quality issues, details on the equipment required to host a call, and additional tips for successfully using Telehealth by SimplePractice. 

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. You can also see Telehealth FAQs to find answers to commonly asked questions from clinicians, and Telehealth FAQs for clients for a guide to send directly to clients about Telehealth.


Necessary equipment

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

  • A computer (laptop or desktop)
    • Newer devices (purchased in the last two years) will be better equipped to provide Telehealth appointments
    • We strongly recommend using a device that has a 2.5 GHz processor and 4 GB of RAM
    • Your computer needs to have:
      • An integrated or external microphone
      • An integrated or external web camera
  • A mobile device (can be used in place of a computer) 
    • We strongly recommend using at least iOS 11 or Android 7.0
  • A reliable internet connection 
    • A reliable, high-speed internet connection with a minimum bandwidth of 0.35 mbps, but preferably 10 mbps or higher, will minimize connection issues and provide the best quality
    • We strongly recommend using updated versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari on the web app
    • We strongly recommend a minimum dedicated 350kb/s per downloaded stream, as well as 350kb/s per uploaded stream to maintain a stable video connection
    • If your practice will be having multiple clinicians on Telehealth calls simultaneously, we recommend working with your internet service provider to increase your internet package
      • For multiple clinicians, a bandwidth over 35 mbps is recommended

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?.


Troubleshooting checklist

For issues using a laptop or desktop:

  • Make sure that you have a reliable Internet connection
  • Make sure that your computer meets the hardware and software requirements
  • Move closer to your router
  • Confirm that your speakers and volume control both work
    • Test the sound and microphone by using another platform or application through your computer
  • Confirm that your computer can play video
    • We recommend testing this by watching a video on Youtube
  • Make sure that you've granted permissions for the browser to use the camera and the microphone
  • Clear your browser cache
  • Refresh the page on your browser
  • Restart the browser
  • Try a different supported browser (Chrome, FireFox, or Safari)
  • Restart your computer

Resolving audio issues

If you're experiencing audio issues:

  • Make sure that your volume isn't muted
  • Check to see if your computer is using the correct audio device
    • Applications that use sound usually let you select a source
  • Try using a headset or speakers to confirm your computer can play audio
  • Close any open media player (Spotify, Facebook, etc.)
    • Open applications and media players can control your speakers until they're closed
  • Clear your browser cache and reopen the site 
  • Update your web browser to the latest version
    • Your browser settings can get corrupted and prevent your audio from working properly
  • Update your operating system 
  • If you’re using a dedicated sound card, be sure to update its drivers
  • Reboot your computer and try to play audio again
  • If you're hearing an echo, see Why am I hearing an echo?

Tip: For information about enabling camera and microphone access, see: Getting started with Telehealth.


Additional tips

Connection problems can be caused by a variety of outside factors. In general, poor video quality is usually caused by a poor internet connection.  

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

Connection problems can be caused by a variety of outside factors. In general, poor video quality is usually caused by a poor internet connection.  

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

  • Use a wired connection instead of wifi whenever possible
    • Wifi will work, but you may experience a lag and interference, which can make your video and audio choppy. Moving closer to your router can help decrease the amount of lag or interference you experience on Telehealth appointments. Consistent delays in audio is usually caused by high latency. Switching to using wired internet will give you an even smoother and more consistent experience.
  • Test your internet connection
    • You’ll see an indicator of your connection within the Telehealth window: 

excellentconnection.simplepractice.telehealth.png

  • Close other programs
    • If you have several programs running in the background, closing them will improve the quality of your call.
  • Adjust your light
    • Some small lighting tweaks can have a huge impact on your video quality. You can place a lamp or other light source behind your monitor, pointed towards you. Also, 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
    • When your video camera is turned on during a call, there's more strain on your internet connection, which can impact the audio quality during a Telehealth call. 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: We also offer a Getting Started with Telehealth class that includes information about troubleshooting Telehealth issues that you can refer to. 

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