Here’s something you may not know: the technology side of telemedicine is the easy part of providing virtual visits. It’s the behind the scene prep, operations and communications that is vital for a smooth-flowing consult.
Top Tips for Providers:
Prepare Appropriately A successful and sustainable telemedicine program is dependent on process, support and communication. Are you prepared?
Test the Waters Technology can be frustrating when it’s not working correctly— be ahead of the curve, check your equipment, have support protocols in place.
Start each visit on time and stay on schedule. Support staff and preparation is mission critical to maintain an efficient cadence and reduce costly delays.
Engage the patient as if they are in the room. Don’t forget the same etiquette you use for in-person visits. Explain that you’re conducting a telemedicine consult and have the patient verbally acknowledge it. Also remind the patient that they can stop the consult at any time. Use the ‘mute’ button when not speaking to help decrease any background noise. Remember to speak clearly.
Do you have a process for follow-up with patient and referral? Just like you do for “in person” visits, circle back to the referring provider and patient.
Top Tips for Patients
Do a test run: Patients should test the video and audio before the telemedicine visit to ensure a stable connection. A personal computer with a wired connection is ideal. Next best option is wireless.
Frame Yourself Properly in the camera so your provider can see you.Make sure you are properly spaced from the camera, have appropriate lighting, and no distracting items in the background.
Eliminate background noise, if possible. Turn off other cellular devices, and while the provider is speaking, you may want to hit ‘mute’.
Prepare a list of questions for your provider. Virtual visits may seem new or intimidating at first and you don’t want to forget any questions you have for your provider. Speak freely as if you are in the room with your physician.
Until COVID-19, telemedicine was a convenience and it has now become a necessity for many physician practices. We hope these basic tips help you during this important transition.
For more information about telemedicine best practices including consultations regarding protocols and procedures, contact us.