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Troubleshooting Telehealth appointment issues

Troubleshooting Telehealth appointment issues

If you're having trouble with sound or video quality while on a Telehealth call, we've created this guide that can help you identify what the issue is. 

Below you'll find details on: 

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.

Troubleshooting checklist

You can use this checklist to solve many of the Telehealth issues you might experience on 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 or FireFox).
  • Restart your computer.

Necessary equipment

You'll need the following equipment to make sure that you have high quality Telehealth appointments: 

  • 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.
    • Your computer also needs to have an integrated or external web camera.
  • A mobile device (can be used in place of a computer) 
    • We strongly recommend using at least iOS 10 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 or Firefox browsers on the web app.
    • We strongly recommend a minimum dedicated 350kb/s down per downloaded stream, as well as 350kb/s up 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 does not meet the minimum requirements, the quality of your Telehealth appointments will be impacted. See What are the minimum requirements for successfully using SimplePractice? to learn more. 

Resolving audio issues

If you're having audio issues, follow the steps below to troubleshoot: 

  • 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.
  • See Telehealth FAQs if you're having issues with hearing an echo. 

Tip: For information about enabling camera and microphone access, please 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.  

Here are some basic steps that can improve the overall quality of your Telehealth calls:

  • 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.
  • 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 that 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 is more strain on your internet connection which can impact the audio quality during in a Telehealth call. If your audio becomes choppy, your connection or your client's 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 to improve the audio quality of the call.

Note: We also offer a Getting Started with Telehealth video series that includes information about troubleshooting Telehealth issues that you can refer to. 

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