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.
Once you choose to bring a virtual medicine solution into your medical clinic, a certain level of preparation needs to take place in order to handle questions brought to you by patients.
Odds are your clinical team will encounter patients who are familiar with the concept of telemedicine, but need a greater explanation on some of its finer points. They’ll also converse with patients who don’t have the foggiest idea about online medicine and are concerned about switching over to virtual appointments.
The best way to address these parties is to go above and beyond in terms of the educational resources you make available. The more of these you have in place, the more likely it is that patients will get enough information to confidently move forward with online doctor’s appointments.
Here are ways to go about effectively answering all questions:
Have a Knowledgeable Staff
Once your staff is well-versed in the virtual medicine technology being used at the clinic, they should have no trouble speaking with patients about in on a regular basis.
Now, not all of these conversations will be easy, and there will be instances in which the clinical team either can’t get a person interested in virtual visits, or make them completely understand what one is about.
When this happens, staff need to be prepared and have strategies in place to ensure all avenues are explored when trying to make the case for online doctor visits.
Make Brochures Available at the Clinic
Not all patients will have the time or interest in spending more time in the clinic than they have to. As such, they may keep their video call-related questions internalized until they’ve had a chance to read up on what you are offering.
This is when the old school, yet always useful, informational brochures come in. These can be placed throughout the clinic, and used to promote and explain the telemedicine services being offered. Additionally, it can feature a FAQ section packed with details that should explain how to see a doctor online, as well as answer any technical-, security-, or feature-related questions anyone might have.
Refer Patients to the Clinic’s Social Media Accounts and Website
Even if a patient asks the clinical team a ton of telehealth questions, they may feel inclined to hop online to learn more before committing to a live video chat online with a doctor.
Just like with the brochure, a clinic’s website can be used to share a relevant FAQ section and explanations regarding how certain aspects of video call technology works.
Meanwhile, a clinic’s social media channels can provide more interactive guidance, via video tutorials and posts in which specific features are highlighted. Furthermore, when certain posts inspire patients to join the conversation, be ready to hop aboard and reply to any inquiries they might have.
For patients who are on your clinic’s email list, chances are they would not be opposed to learning more about doctor-patient video conferences in that space.
While this may not be the venue to post a gigantic FAQ section, what can be done instead is a small ‘Tips and Tricks’ section in which certain virtual medicine features are touched on. This content can subsequently be linked back to the clinic’s website if a patient wants to learn about some of the more intricate details.
Doctor to Patient Conversations
If you are the doctor at the clinic, you know that patients trust your opinion and are not afraid to ask you questions.
By offering virtual medicine services, you are telling patients that you trust the technology. Thus, they’ll assume you have a great working knowledge of it, and can answer any questions they have about it.
When the topic comes up during an in-person appointment comes up, don’t shy away. Speak of telemedicine’s benefits and how it is a great avenue for those who don’t find it necessary to visit their doctor for a small medical matter.
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