Arguably the biggest, and most important challenge you’ll face after selecting a telemedicine solution for your clinic is getting patients onboard. After so many years of attending doctor’s appointments in-person, a number of patients will need to be handled carefully when approached about your practice’s virtual medicine initiative.
You could easily be met with skepticism and concern by patients fearful of disclosing personal medical information online. Additionally, you will face ignorance by those who are not well-versed in how online doctor’s appointments work and why they are beneficial.
Don’t fret, though, these matters can be easily worked around through an onboarding process that’s properly targeted, welcoming, and educational. Leave heavy-handedness at the door, and instead get patients involved in telehealth video calls by:
Introducing a Pilot Project
The first step you will need to take as a practice is to zone in on which patients should be introduced to virtual visits.
Think about individuals who’ve always been reliable in making their scheduled appointments, and/or have regularly communicated with the clinic via email or other online avenues. Also, consider those who are frequently seen engaging with their smartphone while in the waiting room, or treatment room.
Once you have figured out who to approach, see if they’d be interested in participating in a pilot project for your telemedicine service. Explain why they’ve been identified for it, then touch on what’ll be asked of them.
You can explain how they will play an integral role in helping your clinic staff further educate themselves on the patient video call process. What’s more, their involvement will help work out any kinks that should be non-existent once additional patients are introduced to your telehealth offering.
Creating a Consistent Registration Process
With this first group of telemedicine participants, have them test drive a registration process that can be used for all future patients interested in having a live video chat online with their doctor.
The test patients will be able to give you feedback on the registration process and let you know if it’s straightforward enough, or far too complicated. Since a big chunk of your virtual visit strategy should focus on ease-of-use, it’s imperative the registration process reflects that.
As soon as a simple, yet effective registration process has been put in place, many of your future patients will have it easy when it’s time to book a doctor’s appointment online.
Talking About Virtual Visits During In-Person Appointments
When your clinic is ready to broadly expand its telemedicine service to any patient interested in using it, doctors, nurses, and administrative staff should bring it up during in-person appointments.
Here, those who work at your clinic can verbally outline the features and benefits of video calls with doctors, and quickly answer any questions that come up. If necessary and possible, you can give the patient a quick walkthrough of the video chat app via an in-clinic computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Advertising Your Telemedicine Offering at the Clinic
Since busy clinic days could interrupt your verbal promotion of the telemedicine service, don’t be afraid to hang up advertising materials throughout the office.
Try your hardest to make these ads as digestible and relatable as possible. The last thing you want to do is over-, or under-explain your online medicine initiative on posters and scare people off.
One ad could even communicate something as simple as, “Ask your doctor today about the benefits of virtual visits.”
The goal, ultimately, is to encourage a future conversation between the patient and the practice about doctor video conferences.
Managing Patient Expectations
No matter how smoothly the early stages of your telemedicine onboarding process goes, glitches are bound to occur.
As such, you need to pre-emptively warn your patients of this possibility. If they expect perfection from the outset and don’t receive it, they could be turned off of virtual medicine for the foreseeable future.
If you instead brace them for the chance of something going amiss, more understanding and patience will be found.
Onboarding patients to Banty Medical is incredibly easy! Tap here to learn more about our telemedicine solution and all of its fantastic features.