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Using Telehealth features

Using Telehealth features

There are a variety of features and tools available to you during a Telehealth session. Understanding how to use each of these will set you up for hosting successful Telehealth calls. In this guide, we’ll cover:

Note: To learn more about how to use Telehealth, see Getting started with Telehealth. For help with troubleshooting, see Troubleshooting Telehealth appointment issues.


Audio

The quality of the audio can make a great difference in your Telehealth experience. You have the ability to choose the device that’s used for your audio capture. To do this:

  • Before starting a Telehealth session, click Telehealth settings
    • If you're already in a Telehealth session, click your avatar, and choose Telehealth settings
  • Select Audio
  • Use the Microphone and Speaker dropdown menu to select a device

Our Telehealth feature also supports noise suppression, which will block out ambient noise so that you and your clients won't hear unwanted background noise.

To reduce background noise on Chrome or Firefox:

  • Before starting a Telehealth session, click Telehealth settings
    • If you're already in a Telehealth session, click your avatar, and choose Telehealth settings
  • Select Audio
  • Under Noise suppression, toggle Reduce background noise to On

To reduce background noise on the mobile or iPad app:

  • Tap the gear icon on the top right of a Telehealth session
  • Tap Settings
  • Toggle Reduce background noise to On


Camera view

Your camera view is how your clients see and perceive your interactions during a Telehealth session. We've added a number of features that allow you to change the view your clients have of you.

Note: These customizations are only available when using Chrome, Edge, and Opera web browsers.

To update your camera view:

  • Before starting a Telehealth session, click Telehealth settings
    • If you're already in a Telehealth session, click your avatar, and choose Telehealth settings

  • Select Background
  • Choose None or Crop 

Blur and virtual backgrounds

There are also options to blur your background or to choose a virtual background to mask what’s behind you in a Telehealth session. 

To edit your background:

  • Before starting a Telehealth session, click Telehealth settings
    • If you're already in a Telehealth session, click your avatar, and choose Telehealth settings
  • Select Background
  • Choose Blur or another virtual background that we offer

If your background isn’t properly aligning, we recommend:

  • Adjusting your lighting so that you stand out from your background
  • Utilize a better quality camera, such as a USB camera
  • Wear clothes that don't blend in with the background

Chat

Our chat feature enables participants to communicate with each other without needing to use the microphone audio. Any chats sent are viewable by all participants in the Telehealth session at the time the chat is sent.

Note: There isn’t a way to download the chat log during a Telehealth session.

To launch chat during a Telehealth session:

  • Click Chat
  • Begin typing your message
  • Click Send or hit return/enter on your keyboard
    • To skip lines while chatting, hold shift + return/enter on your keyboard
  • Click the X in the top right corner to hide the chat window

  • Click Chat to reopen the chat window

Enabling and disabling notifications

To enable or disable on-screen notifications for incoming chat messages:

  • Before starting a Telehealth session, click Telehealth settings
    • If you're already in a Telehealth session, click your avatar, and choose Telehealth settings
  • Select General 
  • Toggle Show preview of new chat messages to On or Off

Tip: Chat can be useful if a participant is experiencing connectivity issues, and you need a way to communicate with them. Whether you’re reloading the page or restarting your device, chat can be used to ensure that the participant is able to be reconnected as soon as possible.


Picture in Picture

Chrome, Firefox, and Safari have a Picture in Picture feature that allows you to pop a video image out into a floating window, which you can reposition as needed. This allows you to view your video or your client's video while browsing your SimplePractice account, other websites, or any documents during a Telehealth session.

Note: Picture in Picture isn't available when using Telehealth via mobile device or tablet. 

To use Picture in Picture during a Telehealth session:

  • Right click your client's image
    • To right click on a mac, press and hold the control key while you click
  • Select Enter Picture in Picture
    • This option will only show if your camera is enabled

PIP.simplepractice.telehealth.png

  • Drag and drop the floating window

Tip: You can drop the floating window directly on the client's appointment page so you can take notes while still being able to view the client's video. 

To go back to the original Telehealth window and exit Picture in Picture mode:

  • Right click over the video
  • Click Exit Picture in Picture
    • You can also click the X in hovering video

Tip: You can place the image directly under your camera to give the appearance that you're looking directly into the camera. 

If you’re experiencing issues with Picture in Picture, make sure to update your browser to the most recent version and clear your cache.


Screenshare

Our screen sharing feature allows you to share your entire screen, or specific tabs and applications that you have open on your device, with your client during a Telehealth session.

Note: Due to the restrictions that certain browsers place on screen sharing, you may need to use a different browser if you want certain functionalities.

See the table below for which functionalities are available in each browser:

 

Chrome

Safari

Firefox

Edge

Opera

Full Screen Share

Window Share

Browser Tab Share

   

Browser Tab Audio Sharing

   

Important: Browser Tab Audio Sharing is only available in Chrome when sharing a specific tab’s audio.

To share your screen:

  • Click Share at the bottom of the Telehealth session window
  • Select Your screen

Chrome

Chrome offers three different options for screen sharing. Choose a screen or window under one of these tabs:

  • Entire Screen
  • Window 
  • Chrome Tab
    • To share audio, select the box for Share tab audio 
  • Click Share

tab.simplepractice.telehealth.png

Firefox

Firefox only offers the option to share your entire screen or a specific window. To do this:

  • Use the dropdown menu to select the screen or window you want to share
  • Click Allow

allowscreenshare.simplepractice.firefox.png

Safari

With Safari, you can share your entire screen or a specific window. To do this, click Allow.

allowscreenshare.simplepractice.safari.png

Tips for success

  • If you're screen sharing on a Mac computer in a browser other than Safari, go into your computer's System Preferences and grant your browser the proper access under Security & Privacy > Privacy > Screen Recording 
    • Make sure that the lock icon in the bottom left corner of the window is unlocked before you attempt to change any settings

unlock.mac.securiteandprivacysettings.png

Note: For more information, see Control access to screen recording on Mac.

  • If you're sharing your screen with your client, and you see a cascading effect with your screen mirroring many times over, this is due to sharing the Telehealth call tab 
    • In order to stop this effect, you can either:
    • Navigate away from the Telehealth video call tab or minimize the Telehealth browser window
    • Stop screen sharing your entire screen and instead share only the tab or window you're intent on sharing with the other participants

Timer

You can see how much time has elapsed in your Telehealth session by enabling the timer from the welcome screen before the start of a session, or directly from the Telehealth call window during the session.

Note: Timer isn't available when using the SimplePractice Telehealth app to hold a Telehealth session. To use the timer, launch Telehealth from the web app.

To enable a timer for your Telehealth sessions:

  • Before you start your next Telehealth session, click Telehealth settings
    • During a Telehealth session, click your avatar in the top right corner, and choose Telehealth settings
  • Click General
  • Toggle Show appointment timer to On

  • Use the dropdown menu to set when the the timer will start
  • If you’d like the timer to count down, toggle Timer counts down to On

Note: If you clear your browser's cache or are holding a Telehealth session from a new device or browser, you'll want to enable the Telehealth timer in your settings again.


Video

To change the camera used for Telehealth session:

  • Before starting a Telehealth session, click Telehealth settings
    • During a Telehealth session, click your avatar in the top right corner, and choose Telehealth settings
  • Select Video
  • Under Camera, use the dropdown menu to choose a device

To update the video quality of the Telehealth session:

  • Before starting a Telehealth session, click Telehealth settings
    • During a Telehealth session, click your avatar in the top right corner, and choose Telehealth settings
  • Select Video
  • Under Quality, select the quality you’d like to use: 
    • Auto
    • Low-definition (LD)
    • Standard-definition (SD)
    • High-definition (HD)

To enable or disable Mirror self view:

  • Before starting a Telehealth session, click Telehealth settings
    • During a Telehealth session, click your avatar in the top right corner, and choose Telehealth settings
  • Select Video
  • Toggle Mirror self view to On or Off


Waiting room

During Telehealth appointments, you can enable a waiting room so that clinicians can admit client(s) into the session individually or all at once. Only clinicians will be able to see when a client has joined the waiting room. 

Note: There isn’t a way to update waiting room settings via the SimplePractice mobile app. If you’d like to update your waiting room settings, you can do so from the web app.

To enable or disable the waiting room for your Telehealth appointments:

  • Before you start your next Telehealth appointment, click Telehealth settings

  • Next to Use waiting room, toggle On or Off

Note: Changing Telehealth settings here will update for all of your Telehealth appointments going forward, including on mobile.

When a client enters the waiting room, you’ll automatically receive a notification. To admit a client:

  • Click Admit

To decline a client or dismiss the notification:

  • Select the downward arrow
  • Choose Hide notification or Decline

If there are multiple clients in the waiting room, click View all to individually admit or decline each client. To admit all, click the arrow > Admit all.

To send a client back to the waiting room:

  • Hover over the client’s video
  • Select the 3 vertical dots in the top right corner
  • Choose Send to waiting room

Participants in the waiting room won’t be able to view others that might also be in the waiting room. This is what participants will see when in the waiting room:inthewaitingroom.simplepractice.waitingroom.png

Note: The waiting room can’t be customized. 


Whiteboard

Our Whiteboard feature allows users to share an interactive whiteboard with other participants, either for individual work or group collaboration.

There are 7 tools available in the left panel when sharing a whiteboard. From the top to bottom, you'll find:

  • Select
  • Draw
  • Type
  • Shapes
  • Stickers
  • Vanishing pen
  • Insert file

Select

  • The Select tool allows a user to select and deselect any object, drawing, or text on the whiteboard, and move, rotate, or delete it from view

select.simplepractice.whiteboard.png

  • To rotate, click and drag the arrow icon in the top left corner of the object once you've selected the object in question
  • To delete an item, click on the object and click the trash can icon or hit Delete/Backspace on your keyboard

Draw

  • The Draw tool allows Telehealth participants to use their cursor to draw, write, or highlight on the whiteboard
  • To change the Draw tool from write to highlight, click Highlight

highlight.simplepractice.whiteboard.png

  • To change the diameter of the Draw tool, click Thick, Medium, or Thin

medium.simplepractice.whiteboard.png

  • To change the Draw tool color, click one of the 6 options

colordraw.simplepractice.whiteboard.png

Type

  • The Type tool allows users to type out words
  • To change the text size, click Small, Normal, Large, or XL

XL.simplepractice.whiteboard.png

  • To change the text color, click one of the 6 options

colortext.simplepractice.whiteboard.png

Shapes

  • The Shapes tool allows users to add 6 different shapes to the whiteboard

shapes.simplepractice.whiteboard.png

Stickers

  • The Stickers tool allows users to add 9 different stickers to the whiteboard

insertfile.simplepractice.telehealth.png

  • Use the Select tool to select, move, delete, or change the size of the sticker

Vanishing pen

  • The Vanishing pen tool allows users to quickly highlight an area on the whiteboard

telehealth_whiteboard_vanishing_pen_v1.gif

Insert file

  • The Insert file tool allows a user to upload a JPEG, PDF, or PNG file to the whiteboard
    • The inserted file can be up to 1.5 MB in size

insertfile.simplepractice.whiteboard.png

  • Use the Select tool to select, move, delete, or change the size of the file

insertfileselect.simplepractice.whiteboard.png

Unlocking a whiteboard

When sharing a whiteboard, it’ll be locked by default as indicated in the top left corner. 

locked.simplepractice.whiteboard.png

The Locked state indicates that only you have access to edit the board. To unlock the board and allow all participants to use the 4 tools, click Locked. As the clinician, only you can  re-lock or clear the board. To re-lock, click Unlocked in the top left corner. 

Saving a whiteboard

To save a whiteboard you've created:

  • In the top left corner, click Save

save.simplepractice.whiteboard.png

  • Review the modal that pops up
  • Click Got it

This will create a JPEG file in your Downloads folder for future reference.

Note: Once you stop sharing a whiteboard, you can't recover it, so make sure to save before you stop sharing.

Tip: You’ll have the option to hide or show self view and participants, as well as access chat while using Whiteboard. The controls for these features will appear when you move your cursor within the Telehealth window. For more information, see Optimizing your Telehealth experience with additional features.


Features on a web browser vs. the mobile app

To use Telehealth by SimplePractice on a computer, you only need access to a web browser and a stable internet connection. Here's an overview of desktop browsers that support specific Telehealth features:

  Chrome Safari Firefox Edge Opera
Audio sharing    
Blur/virtual background    
Chat
Noise suppression
Screenshare
Timer
Waiting room
Whiteboard

Important: Audio sharing in Chrome is only supported within tab sharing.

When using a smartphone or tablet, here's an overview of the mobile device apps and browsers that support specific Telehealth features:

  Phone app Phone Browser iPad app iPad browser
Audio sharing        
Blur/virtual background        
Chat
Noise suppression
Screenshare Viewable   Viewable
Timer      
Whiteboard Supported (viewable–except on Samsung Galaxy)    

Important: Screen sharing on an iPad is only supported via the SimplePractice mobile app. Audio sharing, blur/virtual background, and timer aren’t available features on mobile devices.


Optimizing your Telehealth experience with additional features

Below are additional features in our Telehealth platform that can optimize your experience.

Tip: You won't see the controls for accessing the features below if your mouse is inactive. To see the buttons and icons for these features, hover your cursor over the Telehealth browser window.  

Switching between Speaker and Grid view

  • You can switch between Speaker view, which gives you a full focus view of the active speaker, and Grid view, which lets you view all participants side-by-side
  • To switch views: 
    • Click Grid/Speaker view in the upper right

speakerview.simplepractice.telehealth.jpg

Identifying the active speaker

  • The active speaker is easily identifiable by a yellow highlighted window when you're in the Grid view, or when a participant is pinned in the Speaker view

Pinning a participant

  • You can pin a participant, regardless of who's speaking
  • To pin a participant:  
    • Hover over their video stream 
    • Click the Pin video icon in the upper left 
  • To unpin a participant
    • Click the blue Unpin video icon in the upper left 

pin.simplepractice.telehealth.jpgHiding your self view

  • You can hide your self view so you can focus on your clients, while other participant(s) can still see you
  • To hide your self view:
    • Click Hide self view in the upper right 
  • To show your self view:
    • Click Show self view in the upper right 

hideself.simplepractice.telehealth.jpg

Hide participants in the side panel

  • You can hide participants in the side panel to focus on the active speaker
  • To hide/show participants: 
    • Click the arrow next to the participants panel

Multitasking mode on iPad

  • When using an iPad to conduct a Telehealth session, you can utilize multitasking mode to view another window and your client at the same time

multitasking.simplepractice.ipad.png

  • When in landscape mode, you can click and drag the divider to adjust the Telehealth app screen accordingly

adjust.simplepractice.ipad.png

Note: For additional details on how to use multitasking mode on an iPad, see Use multitasking on your iPad.

Confirm before ending appointment

During a Telehealth session and you click End, a confirmation message to end the session will appear. You can click Cancel to resume the Telehealth session or click End to end the appointment. 

To remove this feature, check the box for Don’t ask again on this modal. You can also disable this feature in the Telehealth settings. To do this:

  • Before you start your next Telehealth session, click Telehealth settings
    • During a Telehealth session, click your avatar in the top right corner, and choose Telehealth settings
  • Toggle Get a confirmation message to prevent ending a session unintentionally to Off


Telehealth by SimplePractice app on a mobile device

Our Telehealth by SimplePractice app allows for participants to join on their mobile devices.

To use features like whiteboard, you’ll want to use the web version. If clients are using the Telehealth app to join the call, they’ll be able to view your whiteboard, but they won’t be able to use the tools to participate on the whiteboard.

Tips for success

  • Ensure that you're utilizing the latest version of the Telehealth by SimplePractice app
  • Make sure that the connection is stable by connecting to WiFi over cellular data, when possible
  • Utilize Telehealth links from text or email reminders

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