In the midst of the pandemic, teleconsultations and telemedicine has proved critical in providing continuous care. Although its benefits are undeniable, telehealth has introduced new problems, and many providers may benefit from a few pointers on how to improve their virtual sessions.
Here are some recommendations on how to make the virtual consultations better for the doctors as well as patients to restore balance, reduce burnout, and make telemedicine sessions go a little smoother.
Obtain Informed Consent Forms Before a Session- Patients can often be hesitant to avail of teleconsultations due to cyber security concerns or may be doubtful of the quality of care over a digital platform. Preparing consent forms can assist the patients to comprehend what telemedicine is, what it can do for them, and how secure it is. Consent forms lay the framework for ensuring that the patient understands what is about to happen and that their personal information is kept secure.
Create a Pleasing Environment for the patient- Distractions abound when it comes to video chats. An uninterrupted internet is essential for a smooth video consultation. In addition, maintaining regular eye contact creates a meaningful experience for the patient. It's normal to focus on the image of a patient rather than the camera itself. Though there are instances when glancing away from the camera is required particularly when documenting the visit on another platform, it is of utmost importance to maintain eye contact. Otherwise, the patient may assume attention is not paid. Moreover, the elimination of background noises is recommended.
Assure comfort with new technologies- It is necessary to incorporate new software to smoothen the digital healthcare service. However, it is not easy to be an expert with a new tool immediately. Therefore it is recommended to practice using the new tool with family and friends or team members before using it for clinical practice.
Incorporate online booking and payment options- It is essential to have a safe and secure payment processor that interfaces with patient portals, practice websites, or practice management software. This provides both convenience and security to both patient and the doctor.
Easy access to patient reports- Searching the archives for past reports during virtual consultations may be stressful. It is recommended to incorporate software that smoothes the storing and retrieving of the reports.
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