Telehealth Virtual Appointments

Information for Patients and Families

Some McLean services are utilizing telehealth (or virtual visit) appointments via applications like Zoom.

If your provider informs you that your in-person appointment has become a virtual visit, that appointment can be conducted via your computer or smartphone.

Here are some best practices for videoconferencing and tutorials for launching your virtual visit appointment.

If you encounter a technical issue or have any questions, please contact our Telehealth Support team at 800.745.9683.

About Your Telehealth Visit

Please join the Zoom video visit 15 minutes prior to your appointment time. You will need to use a device that has video and microphone capabilities. Learn how to launch Zoom with your internet browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer).

Your session may begin just before, at the time, or up to an hour after the scheduled start of your visit. Please be patient with us, as this is a new process that is being refined.

You will need to be in a private space at the time of your video visit. If the video doesn’t work at the time of your scheduled visit and your physician decides that they need to see you via video or in person, we may need to book a follow-up visit with you.

If you would like additional family members or support to join you during your video visit, please email them your Zoom video visit invitation, and make sure they read this information.

Prior to the session, please read the Telehealth Participant Agreement, found below.

Virtual Visit Tips

Computer Best Practices

  • Restart your computer so it runs efficiently
  • Close any unnecessary programs and applications before you start your appointment
  • Update your computer regularly to help the performance and compatibility of your computer
  • Know where your volume control is so you can adjust the volume to your liking or mute/unmute your speakers

Webcam Best Practices

  • Be at least 3 feet back from the camera
  • Have your shades drawn and avoid backlighting
  • Look at the camera when you are speaking instead of the screen
  • Keep background noise to a minimum by closing doors and windows nearby
  • Silence your cellphone before starting the appointment

Accessing a Zoom Virtual Telehealth Meeting

You will receive an email from your care team with an invitation to your Zoom video visit appointment. The best way to access the meeting is to click on the link in your invitation.

Alternatively, you can go to Zoom and enter the meeting ID and password. You can also access the meeting via teleconferencing (phone) with one-tap mobile/dial by your location phone numbers found in your invitation. This option only connects your audio but does not have a video component. You will need to connect video via the Zoom link or meeting ID.

Zoom on a Computer

Follow these steps to join the meeting using the Zoom application on your computer:

1. First time users should first download and install the Zoom App for Mac or Windows.

2. Launch the Zoom application on your computer.

3. Click Join a Meeting.

4. Enter the Meeting ID number, then enter your name in the Screen Name box and click Join.

  • If you’re signed in, change your name if you don’t want your default name to appear
  • If you’re not signed in, enter a display name

5. Select Join with Computer Audio.

6. If you enter the meeting before your care team, you will be asked to wait until someone in your care team has started the meeting. You will see a page that will automatically refresh until someone from your care team joins the meeting and moves you to a virtual waiting room. Someone from your care team will move you to the meeting room when they are ready to start.

7. Once you join the meeting room, your camera and audio will turn on and the appointment will begin

Zoom on a Smartphone or Tablet

Follow these steps to join the meeting using the Zoom application on your smartphone or tablet:

1. First time users should first install the free Zoom Cloud Meetings app on your device. Visit the App Store (iPhone/iPad) or Google Play (Android devices) to get it.

2. Click on the meeting invitation in your email to launch the Zoom app. You will be asked to enter your name. Enter your full name (first last), then click Continue.

3. The next screen will ask you to give Zoom access to your device’s camera. Click OK. Then select Join with Video.

4. Zoom will ask for access to your device’s microphone. Click OK.

5. Then you will be asked to choose how you’d like to connect to audio (to hear others on the video visit). Either option is OK, but if your internet connection is good, consider using the internet audio option.

  • Call using Internet Audio: Uses your device speaker and microphone to connect to audio via the internet
  • Dial in: Prompts you to dial into the meeting for audio. Click the telephone symbol for the first number, then click the Call button when prompted

6. You will be placed in a virtual waiting room until the provider (host) joins.

Leaving the Meeting

To leave the meeting, follow these steps:

1. When you are finished with your meeting click Leave Meeting on the bottom right corner. Confirm by clicking on Leave Meeting.

2. It is a best practice to quit the application when you have completed your meeting.

Troubleshooting Technical Issues

These steps can help you with issues related to video disconnect during a telehealth visit:

1. If your video stops unexpectedly and you receive a prompt to leave meeting, click Cancel to remain in the Zoom video visit.

2. If your video fully disconnects, go back to your email or calendar and click on the Zoom meeting link from your original meeting invitation to rejoin the meeting.

3. If you provider’s video stops or drops out unexpectedly and you are disconnected from the meeting, go back and click on the Zoom meeting link from your original meeting invitation to rejoin the meeting. Wait for your provider to restart the meeting.

Participant Agreement

As some appointments become virtual visits via Zoom, there are updated patient policies regarding expectations for digital participation.

This information below informs participants of behavioral standards for all virtual visits, group and individual. By virtue of your attendance, you are agreeing to these terms.

Before first appointment, the clinician is asked to read the following statement. After the first session, there is an abbreviated statement to read.


Thank you for joining this virtual visit! By attending this visit, you are agreeing to the following behavioral expectations and privacy and confidentiality standards.

Personal Conduct

All participants have the responsibility to conduct themselves with respect for individuals, their rights, and their privacy during all program-sponsored treatment activities, including virtual visits.

Certain types of behavior are deemed unacceptable and may in some instances result in discontinuation from the virtual session or perhaps the program.

Privacy and Confidentiality

In order to protect your privacy, and in the instance of group visits, the privacy of each participant, and to help everyone feel safe about what they might share in the group, please adhere to the following guidelines.

  • During virtual visits, participants must use a private area, not a public place. By “private area” we mean that participants are the only people in the room, and the door is closed.
  • No one is permitted to take screenshots, photographs, or recordings of any kind with any electronic equipment.
  • Please use headphones, when possible, to maximize the privacy and confidentiality of all participants.
  • You must keep all participants’ identities and information revealed during these sessions confidential. Do not share or discuss any information about participants outside of the group session.

If patients violate this agreement, their participation may be discontinued.

Risks for Group Visits

Even with the above safeguards, patients must understand that disclosure in a group setting of any information contains a risk and confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. Participation in group visits is your choice and is voluntary.

By participating, you understand that there is a possibility that information you provide during a group session may be disclosed by other participants, and McLean Hospital shall not be responsible for such disclosure.

Telehealth Informed Consent

This virtual visit will enable you to share clinical information with a licensed mental health and/or substance use disorder provider at McLean Hospital (your “provider”), and other participants of the group, for the purpose of mental health and/or substance use disorder treatment.

The types of electronic transmissions that may occur using the telehealth platform include, but are not limited to two-way interactive audio and video interaction between you and your provider.

Expected Risks and Benefits of a Virtual Visit

The benefit of a virtual visit is improved access to care by enabling you to remain in your preferred location.

The primary difference between a virtual visit and direct in-person service delivery is the inability to have direct, physical contact with the participant. Accordingly, some clinical needs may not be appropriate for a telehealth visit and your provider will make that determination.

Virtual visits are not used to address medical emergencies. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, dial 9-1-1 and/or go to the nearest emergency room.

Security Measures of the Virtual Platform

To the extent possible, the electronic communication systems we use will incorporate network and software security protocols to protect the confidentiality, privacy, and security of patient data and will include measures to safeguard the patient data and to ensure its integrity against intentional or unintentional corruption or interception.

If possible, virtual visits will be delivered over a secure connection that complies with the requirements of HIPAA and applicable state law, but this may not at all times be possible and, under current regulatory waivers, may not be required.

In rare events, security protocols could fail, causing a breach of privacy of personal health information. There is a risk of technical failures during the virtual visit beyond the control of McLean Hospital.

By participating, you agree to hold harmless McLean Hospital and your provider for delays in evaluation, errors in clinical judgment, and/or for information lost due to such technical failures.

Patients or family may contact the privacy officer with any questions at 617.855.4680.

By participating in this virtual visit, patients agree to these terms.

Subsequent Groups

At the beginning of each subsequent group visit, please read this less formal reminder:

“Thank you for joining this virtual visit! As a reminder, by attending this visit, you are agreeing to follow the program’s behavioral expectations and privacy and confidentiality standards. All participants are responsible for conducting themselves with respect for individuals, their rights, and their privacy.”

“Please remember to use a private room with a closed door. No one is permitted to take screenshots, photographs, or recordings of any kind. Please use headphones when possible to maximize privacy and confidentiality. By participating in this virtual visit, I agree to these terms.”