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 you first begin to see an influx of patients committing to an online doctor visit with you, it’s hard to not feel encouraged and excited about what this means for your telemedicine endeavours.
After the hard work you have put into finding the right online medicine solution, seeing that the clinical team is properly trained on it, and promoting telehealth services to patients, finally your practice is swiftly moving toward the future.
As you get going, though, it mustn’t be forgotten that some of the patients willing to go on this virtual medicine journey with the clinic will need a bit of coaching. This will help them better understand how telemedicine video calls work, and how to go about them the right way.
Here’s how to successfully get patients off on the right foot with virtual visits:
Have Educational Resources Available
It can never be expected that every patient will know exactly how to participate in an online doctor’s appointment right away. As such, you need to see that your medical clinic is loaded to the brim with easy-to-access educational resources.
At the front desk and in the waiting room, see that friendly, yet concise telemedicine-themed brochures, fliers, and even posters, are available to read. See that the information featured on each is answering as many of the anticipated patient inquiries as possible.
Depending on the nature of your practice’s website and social media channels, also use these destinations as areas in which such educational content can be distributed.
Encourage Clinical Staff to Communicate with Patients About Telemedicine
Once a patient agrees to have a live video chat online, the clinical staff should be prepared to answer an array of questions from patients.
Questions regarding how to enter a video conference with the doctor will likely be posed, as will curiosities revolving around Internet privacy and how to use certain features. Your team may even need to provide advice on audio-video best practices.
If your clinical team has been trained properly on the telemedicine solution being used, they should not have any difficulty guiding patients.
Provide Positive Reinforcement
We know you are busy caring for patients all day, but when you know someone is having a video call with you for the very first time, ask how the experience has been for them.
If you are lucky, most patients will have nothing but positives to share. That said, you will have those who – despite your clinic’s best educational efforts – experienced a number of roadblocks.
When this happens, provide positive reinforcement. Explain that not everyone masters a virtual medicine appointment the first time out. Then, offer to answer any additional questions or concerns a patient might have about the process.
Your goal here is to keep patients feeling good about telemedicine. The more supported they feel, the more interested they’ll be in continuing to learn how to have the best video call experience. This is 100% desirable for all medical practices looking to make online medicine a big part of its future.
Take Your Time During First Appointments
Once a patient has logged on for their first video conference with you, be efficient, but by no means rush the call.
Patients want to experience the same level of attention from you as they would during an in-person appointment. If they feel as though your focus online isn’t what they’ve become accustomed to, they may shift away from virtual visits.
What’s more, if you are having to use multiple video call features during the appointment (i.e., screen sharing, or digital whiteboard), some patients will need to be eased through them at a modest pace.
When someone searches for “a virtual doctor visit near me,” be sure that your clinic pops up in the results. Tap here to learn more about Banty Virtual Clinic and all of its offerings.