Telemedicine at South Boston Community Health Center

Staying connected with your care team is important to help maintain your ongoing health and to be able to address issues that may arise without having to expose yourself to others.

SBCHC is offering two types of Telemedicine Visit to help you connect with your provider: (1) Video Visits and (2) Audio Only Visits. We are also scheduling some patients in person if this is preferable to you as the patient, or your need cannot be effectively addressed using Telemedicine.

Here is how you can prepare, depending on your type of visit:

  • For an Audio Only Visit, you will just need a phone, and we will need your phone number.
  • For a Video Visit, you will need either a smartphone, tablet, or a computer with a webcam and a microphone. You will also need to download the Zoom App onto the device you want to use.

If neither Video Visit or Audio Only Visit works for you, please let our scheduling staff know so we can work to meet your need in person.


What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine, Telehealth and Virtual Visits are terms you might have been hearing a lot about since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand the terms can be confusing, and we are here to help.

  • Telehealth - a broad term encompassing any health care that uses technology to connect a patient with either their provider or information about their healthcare (such as MyChart)
  • Virtual Visit - another broad term that includes any clinical interaction in health care that does not involve the patient and provider being in the same room at the same time
  • Telemedicine Visit - A Telemedicine Visit specifically allows you and your provider to have a medical or behavioral health visit without having to be in the same physical location.

South Boston Community Health Center is pleased to be able to offer two types of secure Telemedicine Visits for our patients: (1) Video Visits and (2) Audio Only Visits. We are also scheduling some patients in-person if this is preferable to you as the patient, or your need cannot be effectively addressed using Telemedicine.

You may want to use a Telemedicine Visit to address:

  • Symptoms you are having that might necessitate testing for COVID-19
  • Skin concerns (send your provider a photo via MyChart)
  • Behavioral health appointments for concerns such as anxiety, depression, or for a medication follow-up
  • Chronic care follow-up for stable diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, lung disease, or liver disease
  • Medication follow-up visits for asthma, acne, birth control
  • Seasonal allergy or food allergy concerns
  • Nutrition or weight loss counseling
  • Any other concern that can be addressed without coming to the health center


How do I make an appointment for a Telemedicine Visit?

Simply send us a MyChart message or call the health center at (617)269-7500. Our scheduling staff will help you find a time for your appointment as they do with any other medical appointment at the health center. If you opt to do a Video Visit, please let our scheduling staff know whether you will be using a smartphone or a computer, so your provider knows where to send your Zoom link when it’s time for your appointment. Text (vs. email) is the easiest way to receive your Zoom link.


Do I need to come to the health center for a Telemedicine Visit?

No, you do not need to come to the health center for your Telemedicine Visit. You and your provider can connect from wherever you are each located using technology. However, we can only serve patients located in Massachusetts. If you're traveling or if you have relocated to another state, please send a MyChart message to your PCP or call us at (617)269-7500 to discuss how we can help you while you're away.

Please do consider how you might present yourself for an appointment if you were coming to the health center, and dress accordingly.

We recommend a Video Visit so you can be both heard and seen by your provider, which can allow for better assessment of many health conditions. Also, so much of human caring and active listening is expressed through our faces, so seeing your provider also allows you to experience care and empathy, even when no words are being exchanged.


Do I need special equipment for a Video Visit?

Yes, you will need one of the following:

  • a smartphone
  • a tablet
  • a computer with a webcam and microphone

Whichever device you use, you will need to download the Zoom App before your visit (check out our Telemedicine Guide here). Keep in mind that Video Visits work best with a good internet connection.


What is the easiest way for me to join a Video Visit?

We have found that using a smartphone (which already has a webcam and microphone built in) and receiving a Zoom link via text is the easiest way to join a Video Visit. With the Zoom App already downloaded onto your smartphone, joining your Video Visit is as simple as clicking on the link in the text your provider sends you when it is time for your appointment.

You also have the option of requesting technical assistance ahead of your provider appointment should you need help getting your technology set up. Please give us at least 1 business day before your appointment to get back to you if you have requested technical assistance.


What if I have barriers to Telemedicine Visits?

Many people have barriers to Telemedicine Visits, so you are in good company. It is our mission at SBCHC to provide accessible, high quality care to all our patients. We invite you to be honest with our scheduling staff about how we can best meet your health needs. If a Video Visit is not an option for you, let us know. If an Audio Visit (just phone to phone) also does not work for you, please let us know, and we will help you schedule an in-person appointment onsite at the health center. We have reduced in-person visit capacity to minimize exposure during the pandemic, but we are still booking some in-person visits.


Where can I learn more about Telemedicine Visits at SBCHC?

Here is more information to help you prepare for your Telemedicine Visit at SBCHC: Telemedicine FAQs

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What You're Saying

“I feel that it is a well-oiled machine, with Dr. Brout at South Boston. I just can't say enough good things! They know why I am there without a computer, since everybody knows what is going on with me, all staff. Everybody is on the same page, for a level of healthcare I had never experienced.”
Family Medicine/Dr Brout
Family Medicine Patient 2022
“I like the doctors my son has. They listen, are very understanding, and seem like they care. I just like how they are with my son.”
BH Parent
Parent of Behavioral Health Patient 2022
“I like the attentiveness and feeling heard. I appreciate the fact that providers always make me feel involved in decisions.”
Behavioral Health
Behavioral Health Patient 2022
“I like that the service is more personalized because you know the people, and that is very important.”
Dental Patient 2022
“I liked that they were attentive and fast. They gave me the support I needed and were empathetic and organized. I went to a lot of departments, and all of the staff was this way.”
Family Medicine
Family Medicine Patient 2022
“The staff in the lab, Verinta or "V," is amazing. My son was literally giddy with delight at her joking and playfulness. He was actually so happy with her, he didn't react to the blood draw, but then cried outside a tiny bit with a delayed reaction like "hey, wait, that hurt." She is an absolutely phenomenal addition to the phlebotomy team! Overall, a great experience.”
May 2019
Parent of a Pediatric Patient
“Dr. Kane always asks me if I understand everything and whether or not I need further clarification... I really appreciate him explaining everything so in depth.”
Eye Care Patient 2018
“There’s an emphasis on education here. Dr. Chiakpo and Marianna (a nurse in training) provided a lot of background concerning my issue and even brought in diagrams, which I greatly appreciated, since I’m a visual learner. They both gave me space to ask questions on everything. I really appreciated the time they spent with me.”
Family Medicine Patient 2018
“I truly enjoyed the sweetness of Dr. Biffi. She was very detailed in her explanations, and thoroughly checked and re-checked everything. She really impressed me.The assistant was also very good, dedicated, and professional.”
Eye Care Patient 2018
“My ride was late, but Dr. Green waited an hour for me. When I got there, she took me right in, so that was very nice. She gave me a prescription; she actually brought the prescription all the way outside to give it to me, since I had forgotten it. She is excellent! Everyone is very nice and very understanding. I really liked the center; everyone was very cordial to me.””
Adult Medicine Patient 2018