Top Tips for a Better Quality Telehealth Visit
There’s a lot to think about when conducting a telehealth visit. From effectively translating trust and empathy via a screen to ensuring technical glitches are limited and quickly resolved when they do occur, you need to be alert and ready to deal with any issues that come your way during a consultation. Fortunately, you can take several steps to ensure consultations run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Tip #1: Use High-Quality Equipment
Clear and effective communication is a fundamental part of good healthcare delivery, so grainy, pixelated visuals and muffled sound simply won’t do. While you don’t need top-of-the-line gadgets that blow a massive hole in your telemedicine budget before you’ve even begun, you should use reliable video and sound equipment that offers clear results.
Tip #2: Ensure Your Internet Connection Is Solid
Besides making sure your setup has a decent internet speed (3 Mbps or higher is recommended), use a wired internet connection rather than WiFi where possible. Wired connections aren’t as susceptible to interruptions, and they provide a little more security.
Tip #3: Test Your Equipment Regularly
The last thing you want is a malfunctioning system when you have a schedule full of online patients. To avoid this scenario, make certain the audio and visuals are clear and that all equipment is functioning correctly before each telehealth visit. Regular checks will help you keep track of your maintenance and replacement needs so that you’re not caught off-guard. You should also keep tech supports number on hand just in case things start to go awry.
Tip #4: Set Up a Professional Consultation Zone
The great thing about telemedicine is that you’re not limited to consultations at your practice. However, patients still want to feel comfortable and secure. They want to see signs that they’re dealing with a professional and that you’ve taken measures to protect their privacy. Look around your environment and analyze it from their perspective before selecting a quiet, clean, well-organized, well-lit space that makes patients feel relaxed and secure during their telehealth visits.
Tip #5: Be Prepared
In addition to being professional, your appointments should be productive and efficient. Take time to read your patient’s complaint before the telehealth visit and make sure you have their chart within reach during the consultation. You’ll save time and aggravation, making the experience a lot more pleasant for you and your patient.
Tip #6: Keep Your Patient Engaged
Videoconferencing requires slight changes in the way you handle communication. For example, you need to look at the webcam rather than the screen to maintain eye contact. You need to ensure patients know you’re listening to them by nodding in agreement or asking questions at appropriate times. If you need to move away from view, or you’re in the process of documenting their concerns, diagnosis, and treatment, you should tell them what you’re doing. Keep the conversation going and be aware of the way you’re communicating at all times.
Tip #7: Tell Patients What Happens Next
End each telehealth visit on a high note by explaining to patients what they need to do after the appointment so that there’s no confusion. Whether they need to follow a particular treatment regime, fill a prescription you’ve called into their local pharmacy, or make a follow-up appointment, they should be in no doubt as to what they should do once the call ends.
Following these simple tips can make all the difference to the quality of an appointment, and focusing on quality is one sure-fire way to generate good reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations. A little extra effort goes a long way, so keep these tips in mind when administering healthcare via telemedicine.
What do you think makes for a better quality telehealth visit? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so be sure to leave a comment below. If you’ve been thinking about telemedicine solutions for your healthcare practice, then request a demo to find out how My Virtual Doctor can help you get started.