Banty Co-Founder and Medical Director, Dr. Richard Tytus, provided the subject matter and direction for this article. The author would like to thank Adam Grant for his editorial assistance in writing the article. Dr. Richard Tytus takes responsibility for the content of the article.
As a medical professional, you understand how vital it is to maintain a great reputation with patients and the community in which you serve. Doing so opens up your clinic for more patient referrals, not to mention additional business opportunities (i.e., speaking engagements) that would not be available to a peer with a lesser reputation.
Although you may already have a splendid reputation as a result of your years of successfully seeing patients in-person at your brick-and-mortar clinic, now is the time to begin thinking about your virtual presence.
If you have been keeping a close eye on trends within the medical space, you are aware that many doctors are turning to virtual medicine solutions (like Banty) to conduct online doctor’s appointments. Instead of just relying on the phone to connect with patients remotely, your peers are now recognizing the benefits of having video call appointments.
For you, if you have just started conducting online doctor visits – or plan on doing so soon – it is important for you to know how to sustain a quality telehealth reputation in an ever-shifting online medicine world.
Maintain a Positive Rapport with Patients
For a number of reasons, some individuals feel more comfortable conversing with others in person, versus over the phone or via a video call. However, in order to successfully have video conferences with patients, you need to ensure your confidence and comfort level on these calls remain high.
More specifically, you want to deliver your patients online doctor’s appointments that feel as similar to the in-person experience as possible. While screens may now be involved, they want to still feel as if you are in the same exam room with them.
In order to maintain this feel, do not change how you would typically interact with a patient. If you and a patient have a history of chit-chatting about current events before an appointment really begins, continue with that approach. Whatever you can do to provide the positive rapport you began augmenting years ago, continue doing that.
Be Willing to Help Build Telemedicine Familiarity
Just because you begin offering telemedicine services to patients, it cannot be assumed that they know how to see a doctor online, let alone how to navigate the appointment platform your clinic is using.
At certain times, a patient may ask you – or a member of your clinical team – for guidance. They may need assistance ensuring they have the right URL, or have downloaded the proper mobile app. Additionally, even once an appointment has begun, they may not be totally up to speed about what they will need to do on their end to have a positive virtual medicine experience.
As best as you can, provide positive assistance for any patient who might be struggling within the online medicine environment.
Eliminate Tech Troubles on Your End
If a patient has trusted you enough to participate in online doctor visits with your clinic, do not let them down by having preventable tech glitches on your end.
To avoid this, frequently check the quality of your Internet connection to see that it is as optimal as possible. Additionally, invest in a high-quality set of headphones with a built-in mic, as well as a high-definition webcam.
While video conferencing solutions for doctors are by-and-large easy to use on any computer, tablet, or smartphone, do ensure that whichever device you use for telehealth appointments can handle video calls. If they can’t, consider an upgrade. While this could be pricy, making such an investment will go a long way to ensuring your telehealth reputation remains strong.