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.
When a virtual medicine solution is brought into a practice, it takes teamwork to ensure that online doctor’s appointments are going off without a hitch. By having more hands on deck more of the time, a clinic will find itself doing a great job at accommodating patients who are interested in having video calls with their doctor.
While the doctor(s) will play an integral role in seeing that patients can join them for regular video conferences, it will be the clinical team (i.e., nurses, administrative staff) tasked with keeping online medicine appointments moving in the right direction.
More specifically, a clinical team can make the virtual medicine experience easy by:
Knowing the Technology
If you have ever been asked to run a project without knowing the ins and outs of it, feeling lost can happen rather quick. This, unfortunately, can result in a lack of productivity and a stressful situation for those impacted by such inexperience.
No matter the telemedicine solution your medical office has chosen to work with, the clinical team needs to know it like the back of their hands. This will not just help them navigate the technology day in, day out, but it’ll also allow them to provide patients with the best virtual visit experience possible.
Having a staff that’s not well-versed in the clinic’s virtual medicine solution can cause irreparable harm to a patient’s impression of this treatment option.
Assisting Other Staff Members
Since not everyone is as tech savvy as the person sitting next to them, it is important that clinical team members who best learn the practice’s video conferencing technology, help those who need more guidance.
Having this teamwork at play will galvanize the clinical staff and make everyone feel comfortable about how to make online doctor visits happen without any issues. Beyond making the clinic’s virtual medicine initiative a stronger one, this approach will also serve as an opportune bonding experience.
Keeping Doctors Up to Speed
Since doctors are so busy running from one patient to another on a day-to-day basis, they may not have the time to immediately deal with any, or all, patient video call hiccups that occur.
However, what the clinical team can do is keep track of any inefficiencies or flawed processes that are negatively impacting online doctor’s appointments. This will help the doctor stay in touch with what’s going on and subsequently decide what can, or should be changed.
Beyond this, the clinical team can keep the doctor apprised of any major feature changes to their telehealth solution and how it might impact how patients are seen.
Having the doctor as in-the-loop as possible leads to a better running office, plus less of a chance of bad surprises rearing their ugly heads.
Being Friendly and Helpful with Patients
In a perfect medical practice world, all patients offered the opportunity to see their doctor virtually will jump at the chance and know exactly how to see a doctor online. Unfortunately, this level of perfection is just not realistic.
As such, the clinical team needs to be prepared for anything. This includes (but is not limited to) patients unsure of where to go to enter an online doctor visit; how to properly get their audio and video settings working well; or what to do if they have a poor Internet connection.
No matter what the issue might be, the clinical team is who the patients will turn to for assistance. At this juncture it is critical for staff to not just provide assistance, but also be friendly and understanding while doing this.
It has to be appreciated that not everyone understands how to have a video call. That said, it’s a very learnable skill as long as great guidance is given when requested.