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Getting started with telehealth
An overview of how telehealth works with Cliniko
An overview of how telehealth works with Cliniko

Cliniko's telehealth feature lets you video chat with your patients. This guide will give you a quick overview on how it works!

Emily avatar
Written by Emily
Updated over a week ago

Cliniko's telehealth feature lets you video chat with your patients. This guide will give you an overview on how it works!

Getting started with telehealth in Cliniko is simple. Whether you want to have video calls, voice calls, or just simply have a live chat with one of your patients—you can do this all through the telehealth feature.

We worked hard to ensure that enabling this is simple, straightforward, and as easy to use as possible. This guide is broken into a few sections. You can read straight through if you like, or jump around to different sections using the links in the list below.

Getting set up

There are three main things you need to do before booking any telehealth appointments:

Once you set-up and start booking telehealth appointments, you'll need to know the following:

If you'd like a video walk-through, Rachel will give you a demo below!

Read on for step-by-step instructions.

Create telehealth appointment types

Head to Settings, and then Appointment types:

You can either create a brand new appointment type or edit an existing one from the list:

Fill out the details about this appointment type!

It might be worth creating appointment types that are only for teleheath consultations—this way, it's easy to keep track of what's what! For example, you might have a regular standard appointment, but creating one called "Online consult (Standard)" will make it very easy to differentiate between the two.

Scroll down to the bottom. Under where it says Turn on telehealth for this service, switch it to "On":

Update the appointment type, and that's step one, complete! 🙌 

🚨 The next steps are crucial! You need to create appointment confirmation and reminder templates that contain the new placeholder for telehealth and make sure those templates are linked to the appointment types. 🚨

Create telehealth appointment confirmation and reminder templates

For a more in-depth outline on creating these templates, check out the appointment confirmation and appointment reminder guides!

In order to ensure that the telehealth appointment link gets to your patient, you'll want to make sure you're adding in the placeholder called TelehealthLink. This placeholder will ensure that your patient has the link to join in on the call. 

The process for adding the link is going to be the same for both reminders and confirmation emails.

To get started, head to Settings and select either Appointment confirmations or Appointment reminders (you'll repeat this process for both types of messages):

On the next page, you'll want to select the TelehealthLink placeholder from under the APPOINTMENT heading:

While it's possible to add this link to SMS reminders, please consider that the link is quite long, so it may require more SMS credits to be used.

When you add the telehealth link to your message, it will look like this:

If you press the "View sample" button, you can see a preview of what the message will look like. Keep in mind, this is just an example, and each patient will see a slightly different display, depending on their email settings:

Finally, be sure to update the template:

Next, you'll want to make sure that your confirmation email and reminder templates are linked to the correct appointment types!

Link your templates to appointment types

Once you've created the telehealth appointment types and the templates, you'll need to assign the templates to their related appointment types,

Go back to Settings and then Appointment types:

Select the appointment type you want to work with (anything that has already been enabled for telehealth will have "Telehealth enabled" in yellow next to it):

Scroll down until you reach the confirmation/reminder area (below the "colour picker"). Select the appropriate template from the drop-down list:

Update that appointment type:

You've now successfully prepared your appointments for telehealth! 🎉

Joining a telehealth call

When it's time to begin the call with your patient, just find the appointment on your calendar, open it, and press the Join video call button at the top:

It's best if you have an up-to-date browser for your telehealth consultation. For more information on what you need, head over here.

Once you join the video call, you’ll be in a private virtual room. This is where you’ll have the video consultation between you and your patient. If it’s your first time joining a video call, you will be prompted to allow your browser access to your camera and microphone. This is required in order for video and audio to work for your telehealth consultation.

If you're the first one in the room, you'll see a blank screen as you wait for the patient to arrive. Before they join, you’ll also see an option to copy a shareable link that you can provide your patient in case they misplaced the one provided in their confirmation email or reminder:

Once your patient joins the call via the telehealth link, they will also be prompted to allow camera and microphone access. Once they've allowed that, they will be connected with you immediately.

Telehealth view and symbols

When the patient has joined, you'll see something like this:

Within your private room, you’ll see a number of settings and options to get you started with your video call:

  • Change camera and microphone settings

  • Disable/enable Full screen mode

  • Disable/enable microphone

  • Disable/enable camera

  • Share your screen

  • Open/close patient chat (located in the top-right corner of your screen near the patient name and appointment type)

Picture-in-Picture mode

The “arrow in a box” icon is for “picture in picture” mode —pressing this means that the patient’s video will “separate” itself from the big display in the centre, and it will “float” anywhere:


Once enabled, you can move it around and resize it, and you can open up other applications without worrying about hiding the video.

You could even use the picture-in-picture mode to write treatment notes at the same time! To do this, have your patient’s file opened in a different browser tab prior to the telehealth call. Once your patient joins the call, use the “Picture in picture” feature to pop their video out into the foreground so you can still see them while you’re working on their treatment notes in another tab.

Here’s a screenshot to give you an indication of how the patient’s video “floats” (you can see that it’s no longer a large image in the middle of the screen):


Because some things are easier to explain when demonstrated, we’ve created a quick video to show you how “picture in picture” works:

This will currently work in all browsers except Firefox.

Ending the call

When you end the call, your screen will look like this:

If you didn't meant to end it, simply press "Reconnect"! If you're done, you can head Back to the calendar.

There are certain things that our telehealth functionality doesn't have just yet, but we plan on adding to it over time. If there's anything in particular that you want to see, feel free to send a message to our support team.

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