Online consultation services allow information to be delivered and exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications. Online consultation services can be offered using a variety of applications that include two-way video, email, smart phones, wireless internet tools and other forms of technology. Services are delivered with strict confidentiality in accordance to the United States Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The HIPAA of 1996 (HIPAA) required the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop regulations protecting the privacy and security of certain health information. Similar to “telehealth” or “telemedicine”, online consultation services are extending care to clients who are isolated and would not otherwise have access to gender care and transgender health services.
Any clients who do not have readily accessible services for gender care or prefer the convenience of receiving care from anywhere.
Online consultation services are a more accessible, convenient option for many trans/transgender, non-binary, agender, gender fluid, gender-nonconforming, and gender questioning clients, especially in remote rural areas, and in countries where quality gender care and information about gender are not readily available. Online consultation is a powerful tool breaking down geographical barriers and filling major gaps in services for trans/transgender, non-binary, agender, gender fluid, gender-nonconforming, and gender questioning individuals.
In cases where someone is seeking help or guidance but facing challenges due to safety and stigma related to being trans/transgender, non-binary, agender, gender fluid, gender-nonconforming, and gender questioning, the online service provides a sense of privacy and security. Only the use of a computer or phone with internet, as well as audio and video technology are needed. It is recommended that clients have access to a quiet and private setting when engaging in online consultation services.
Online consultation services increase client engagement by allowing each person to schedule sessions as frequently as they desire, in a convenient way. Whether engaging in ongoing sessions, or doing a one-time video-chat to answer questions about a concern, this online platform leads to positive care outcomes.
These technology platforms usually require use of a phone or computer with audio and video capabilities. Clients are registered with a secure video conferencing service. Please ask for assistance creating an account or if you experience any technical issues.
In order for treatment to be effective, clients have to be committed to follow the recommendations of the consultant and understand that multiple sessions may be necessary to achieve their goals.
The platform used for Online Gender Care Consultations is Zoom.us. This service offers safe and secure chat/ messaging and video communications to ensure the confidentiality of the content of your sessions. In order to benefit from these safeguards, clients are required to download, register and utilize the chat and video software from Zoom.us. Personal information is encrypted and stored on a secure server in compliance with HIPAA regulations.
1. You will need a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speaker or headphones. You will have the opportunity to check your audio immediately upon joining a the video consultation.
2. You will receive notice for a videoconference or conference call after booking your appointment. The notification will include a link to “Join via computer” as well as phone numbers for a conference call option. It will also include the 9-digit (usually) Meeting ID.
To join the videoconference:
1. At the start time of your meeting, click on the link in your invitation to join via computer. You may be instructed to download the Zoom application.
2. You have an opportunity to test your audio at this point by clicking on “Test Computer Audio.” Once you are satisfied that your audio works, click on “Join audio by computer.” You may also join a meeting without clicking on the invitation link by going to join.zoom.us on any browser and entering the Meeting ID provided in your email confirmation.
If you are having trouble hearing the meeting, you can join via telephone while remaining on the video conference:
1. On your phone, dial the teleconferencing number provided in your invitation.
2. Enter the Meeting ID number (also provided in your invitation) when prompted using your touch-tone (DTMF) keypad.
3. If you have already joined the meeting via computer, you will have the option to enter your 2- digit participant ID to be associated with your computer.
Participant controls in the lower left corner of the Zoom screen:
Using the icons in the lower left corner of the Zoom screen, you can:
• Mute/Unmute your microphone (far left)
• Turn on/off camera (“Start/Stop Video”)
• Invite other participants • View Participant list – opens a pop-out screen that includes a “Raise Hand” icon that you may use to raise a virtual hand
• Change your screen name that is seen in the participant list and video window
• Share your screen
Somewhere on your Zoom screen you will also see a choice to toggle between “speaker” and “gallery” view. “Speaker view” shows the active speaker. “Gallery view” tiles the meeting participants.