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 healthcare professional, you have come to learn over time how to best conduct in-person appointments with patients. Chances are you have developed a flawless routine that has been mastered thanks to years upon years of practice.
However, as virtual medicine’s popularity continues to rise, so does the expectations of patients who now believe they shouldn’t have to travel to a doctor’s office for every, single, medical matter.
Now that patients understand that they can have video calls with their doctors, it is on you to figure out how to host those meetings in a successful manner. Of course, it will take time to perfect your online doctor’s appointments, but putting in the time to get to this point will be worthwhile in the long run.
Here’s how to get comfortable having video calls with patients:
Practice, Practice and Practice Some More
No matter the career path a person decides upon, it’s understood that the more a craft is practiced, the better someone gets at it. For you, the medical professional, you will only be able to continually offer your patients great care if you continue to try to get better.
When beginning to use an online medicine solution, this is especially true. While some of your cohorts will be video conference naturals, you may find yourself struggling to get to a level that feels comfortable – but that’s okay.
Here, it’s important to take your time and figure out what works best for you. This can include how your online doctor visits are structured, to finding a way to effectively communicate with a patient remotely. The more you practice your virtual medicine presence, the sooner it will begin to feel natural.
Don’t Commit to More Online Doctor’s Appointments Than You Can Handle
Even if you are excited to begin having telehealth appointments over video with patients, start slowly. This means balancing how many virtual patient consults you have on a given day, with how many in-person ones you conduct.
Additionally, this could mean setting aside specific chunks of time each day and/or week in which you will be available to have a live video chat online with certain patients.
By not overwhelming your schedule, video calls with patients will never feel like an albatross hanging off your ankle.
Conduct Calls from a Great Space
For a lot of professionals to perform at a level they deem to be successful, they need to be in an environment that’s familiar and comfortable to them.
As a doctor capable of hosting virtual medicine appointments, you have the ability to set up a computer in your exam room and connect with patients remotely from there. However, the freedom video call technology brings means being able to conduct patient appointments from afar.
This means – depending on the layout of your home – you can create a warm, welcoming space in which you exclusively use for online medicine appointments. Maybe it’ll have some nice natural light flowing through the window, or a collection of plants and flowers keeping the room fresh and tranquil.
No matter which décor options make the work-from-home experience most comfortable to you, give them a try and see how that impacts your virtual medicine appointments.
When asking patients for feedback about their video call experiences with you, the responses may not always be rosy. There could be constructive criticism, or even patients mad about having to meet with you virtually.
Regardless of the type of feedback that comes back at you, always make note of it and consider how – if applied – these tips can lead to a better telemedicine experience for both the patients and you.