Telehealth is becoming an increasingly significant part of healthcare in the United States. Most state Medicaid programs include at least some healthcare coverage. Many private insurers are adding additional coverage for telehealth services.
Furthermore, telemedicine solutions are even more popular thanks to the current COVID-19 pandemic, mainly because some regulations have been loosened to accommodate safer patient screening.
The Significance of Communication in Telehealth
Communication as part of the telehealth patient experience cannot be overestimated. Firstly, the advantages of being able to communicate with patients in different settings are numerous:
- Reducing patient stress and improves engagement
- Lowering the patient’s risk of infection
- Eliminating the need for patients to travel for specialized care
- Providing quicker and more efficient patient care
- Decreasing non-urgent patient phone calls
- Boosting patient reassurance
- Helping to monitor continuous access to care
- Allowing doctors to handle larger volumes of patients
Telehealth Communication Best Practices
Smart health practitioners will adhere to best practices for virtual patient appointments, whether they are conducted by phone or video, though the latter is more common. Best practices include:
- Maintain privacy: Whatever space you are using for a telehealth consultation, you should maintain the same privacy level as you would in person. This includes ensuring that the patient has signed any necessary consent forms, that the room you use is private, and that your internet connection is secure.
- Dress professionally: Dress as you would for a regular in-person appointment. This will make your patients feel comfortable and at ease.
- Explain how telemedicine works: Before you have your first telehealth consultation, it’s essential to explain how telemedicine visits work. That way, your patients will know what to expect. You should also explain confidentiality, sharing patient information with other healthcare professionals, and prescribing policies.
- Outline expectations: Let your patients know what to expect from each specific telehealth appointment. This should include how long the virtual consultation will last, what it will cover, and scheduling a follow-up if necessary.
- Avoid using jargon: Speak clearly and concisely and avoid using language that your patients may not understand. Could you encourage them to ask questions? Listen carefully to their concerns.
- Be aware of telehealth etiquette: Set up your webcam at eye-level, so it’s just as if you were sitting in the same room as the patient. Always be punctual. During your virtual consultation, let your patient know if, at any time, you need to look away from the screen.
- Select one platform: Do your research and get to know the available technology. Make sure it’s a reliable software solution that suits your practice. Once you’ve picked one, stick with it.
Communication is vital in telemedicine, and not just during the virtual visit but also after. It’s imperative to plan effective communications to serve your patients now and in the future. When implemented well, best practices can increase patient engagement and retention and maximize your revenue. To know more about medical software, Start the conversation by giving us a call