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.
For those who work at your medical clinic, it can feel pretty good to master the telemedicine solution being used to have live video chats online with patients.
Understanding how to use such technology not just expands the ways in which a clinic can choose to meet with its patients, but it also makes using it on a day-to-day basis easy and stress-free. However, no matter how much virtual medicine expertise the clinical team and yourself, the doctor, builds, it must be remembered that not all patients will comfortably know how to see a doctor online.
Some individuals will just be coming to grips with what doctor-patient video calls are all about, let alone how to actually participate in one. Thus, it is on everyone at the clinic to show a willingness to assist patients who are struggling with telemedicine tech.
Here’s how you can be of assistance to these folks:
Have Teaching Tools at the Ready
When your clinical team began learning the practice’s online medicine solution, there was definitely a learning curve. Throughout, the team would turn to available help resources to guide them through the trickier parts of the technology.
As soon as you begin offering online doctor’s appointments, see that similar help resources are widely available to patients. These can be in the form of printed brochures or flyers left out at your reception desk, or on tables in your waiting room.
Additionally, this information should also be accessible on the clinic’s official website. Think about all of the questions patients might have for you about online doctor visits, then create and share a comprehensive FAQ section.
If your clinic has an active social media presence, ‘how to’ posts about highlighted telemedicine solution features can be published on channels like Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Make Sure Your Clinical Team is Prepared to Assist
The moment a patient struggles with entering a video conference with their doctor, you can bet those at the front desk will be the first individuals asked for assistance.
As such, it is imperative that the front desk team at your clinic has a solid understanding of the telehealth solution being used in-house. When a patient calls in for help, the last thing they want is to reach someone who can’t lend a hand.
To see that your telemedicine serviceS initiative runs well, see that everyone at the clinic knows the technology inside-out.
Be an Ear and Provide Guidance
There will be video calls with patients in which part of the time is discussing – or witnessing – their struggles with telemedicine technology. Even if the solution you use is designed to be easy for doctors and patients alike, some patients will still struggle.
In these instances, hear the patient out and try to get to the heart of the matter. Maybe they have the technology figured out, but hate the process, or are concerned about online privacy. Perhaps, they simply miss the in-person interactions.
Here, provide guidance where you can and also speak to the benefits of virtual medicine. Sometimes, patients just need a bit of time to get used to something new.
Don’t be Judgmental
Even if your online medicine services are easy to you, don’t look down on patients who are not as tech savvy as you. Avoid passing judgment regarding how they might be interacting with the technology, or feeling about it.
When you approach patient concerns openly – and without judgment – individuals will open up to you and a positive dialogue will be had. By rushing to judge, you risk pushing a person away from seeking future online doctor visits.
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