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.
Thanks to telehealth solutions like Banty, you have come to learn that offering online doctor’s appointments is a great way to see patients. Yes, it took you some time to get out of the habit of only seeing patients who walk into your clinic, but now that you’ve been widely exposed to virtual medicine, you are excited about the future of patient care.
Unfortunately, though, not all patients are sharing in your enthusiasm. This can be a result of certain patients thinking they do not have the technological prowess to participate in an online doctor visit. Or this could be a result of individuals either fearing change, or feeling concerned that their sensitive personal health information could leak online.
If you are a healthcare professional feeling substantial online medicine pushback from patients, here are some ways you can attempt to convert the unconvinced:
Find Out What is Concerning to Patients
In addition to the potential patient concerns listed above, you may be taken aback by some of the other reasons/excuses regarding why someone does not want to have an online doctor’s appointment.
No matter what a patient relays to you here, do your best to investigate why something is such an issue to them and if there is anything that can be done to quell concerns.
After all, it is entirely possible for a patient to simply not understand how virtual medicine works, or misinterpret elements of it. By looking deeper into their concerns, you have the possibility of finding a solution which can help them get engaged online.
Explain the Benefits
As you attempt to build a patient’s trust for telehealth, be sure to list off all of the perks associated with it. Let the patient know how much time they can save in their day by not having to travel to and from a medical clinic. Then, boast about how they will not be stuck in a packed waiting room where many infectious individuals await their appointments.
Next, if a person is feeling under the weather but can likely be diagnosed during a live video chat online, mention how a remote appointment will allow for more rest and recuperation, and less physical strain.
Lastly, note that telemedicine appointments are secure. Video conferencing services like Banty go above and beyond to implement security measures to keep patient data private and secure.
Have Lots of Assistance Available
The biggest fear some patients will have is not knowing how to see a doctor online. This fear can be easily put to rest by your clinical team’s willingness to offer tips and tricks regarding how to participate in an online doctor’s visit.
What’s more, your brick-and-mortar clinic waiting room can feature a ton of telemedicine resources (i.e., brochures, flyers, etc.) in which patients can take home and study at their own convenience.
Even further resources can be made available on your clinic’s official website and/or social media channels. These online venues can host detailed FAQ sections, as well as tutorials designed to make doctor-patient video calls feel far less intimidating.
Do Not Push Too Hard
Even after you have taken the three steps noted earlier, you may still experience some resistance from patients. If this is the case, the last thing you want to do is press these people into having telehealth appointments.
Lots of individuals in this world do not want to feel forced into making a particular decision. Rather, they want to take time, do their own research, then determine their best course of action.
Whether this means a patient is willing to occasionally try an online medicine appointment, or remains uncomfortable about participating in one, you need to respect whichever decision is made.