The concept of telemedicine first emerged in the very late 1800s. Of course, the idea of “telemedicine” back then meant doctors talking to patients over Alexander Graham Bell’s original phone model. Today, telehealth uses the Internet, mobile devices, 3D imaging, advanced data platforms, and more. While this technology makes telehealth possible, it’s still incumbent upon healthcare providers to ensure that their patients get the same quality of care online as they would in a traditional visit.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government has relaxed some regulations pertaining to digital healthcare. To protect vulnerable populations and to comply with social distancing protocols, many healthcare providers have switched to virtual visits whenever possible.
If you’re a healthcare provider using telehealth for the first time or significantly ramping up its use, you want to ensure that you’re providing patients the highest quality care possible. To do so, take note of these four telehealth technology tips:
1. Choose the Right Platform and Tools
There are numerous software options for telehealthcare on the market. However, not all platforms are equal. Before committing to a specific provider, be sure to enough research to ensure that you’re investing in a high-quality system. For example, you’ll want to assess the following when comparing telehealth platforms:
- How available is it? It’s wise to choose a platform that works with technology that’s already used widely. In this regard, you are well-advised to go with a platform that can be accessed via the average smartphone or tablet.
- How easy is it to use? You want to select a platform that makes telehealth and virtual visits convenient and straightforward for patients. The interface of the telehealth service should be easy for first-time users to navigate. For this reason, many healthcare providers choose the telehealth platforms that offer the best mobile apps for patients.
- Does it come with extras? Why adopt a system that only does the basics when you can have one that helps with billing and eases clinical documentation of virtual sessions? There are platforms that can integrate with your website to direct and onboard willing visitors onto this service.
- Does it meet the required security and regulatory standards? Your chosen platform should meet the rules and regulations set out by HIPAA. It should also guarantee the security and privacy of its users and their data.
2. Be Patient Onboarding Staff to Your Telehealth Platform
Before offering the virtual option to your patients, it’s important to ensure your staff is comfortable operating the software and required hardware. This doesn’t just apply to the practitioners directly in contact with patients; all members of your staff, whether administrative or clinical, should be thoroughly familiar with your telehealth offerings. To achieve this, you will need to provide proper training to the entire organization concerning the new technology, ensuring they see its value and use.
3. Make Your Patients Comfortable
To hose productive telehealth appointments, you also need to teach patients how to use the technology. Every patient should be given clear written directions or a live demonstration of how consultation sessions will be conducted in the virtual space.
During this teaching phase, it’s important the patient is made to see the benefits of being able to get care right from the comfort of their homes. Making sure they are aware of the hours they can engage in virtual visits and how they can get assistance after hours is just as critical when introducing this service.
4. Provide the Best Healthcare Experience Possible
Just like a traditional consultation session, your aim with virtual visits should be to provide the patient with the best possible experience. For example, ensure that doctors and nurses are on time for scheduled telehealth calls. Also, they should ensure that their surroundings are in order, projecting an air of calm professionalism before you begin a session.
When calls or vide suggestions being, doctors must communicate clearly with their patients. This entails talking slowly and clearly and making frequent eye contact. Make the session interactive, creating opportunities for the patient to provide you feedback.
Optimal Customer Service
As you virtualize service to your patients, be sure to have them at the heart of every decision you make. With folks afraid to visit hospitals for fear of contracting the Coronavirus, virtual visits may be the only resort for some patients. So, ensure users of this service get the same quality of care as if they had walked into your clinic.
An author of Namaste UI, published several articles focused on blogging, business, web design & development, e-commerce, finance, health, lifestyle, marketing, social media, SEO, travel.
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