Top 10 tips for conducting a seamless telehealth consultation
Use of telehealth services for virtual health diagnoses and treatment has skyrocketed in 2020 alongside the use of smart watches, health & wellness apps and digital health platforms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the first three months of the year, the number of telehealth visits in the United States rose by 50% however, all the signs point to this being part of a long-term growth trend.
With many more medical consultations taking place virtually, come new and interconnected risks for health professionals to consider. Read on for tips from the Beazley Virtual Care team on conducting a seamless, secure virtual consultation.
- Speedy connection – Make sure your service providers have fast internet connections to interact with the users. Nothing can be more frustrating than discussing confidential information with a user and the service cuts out.
- Proven platform – Choose a trusted virtual service provider to interact with your clients. Proven platforms offer more reliable networks and data security measures that will protect you in the long run.
- Retain professionalism – Maintaining professionalism with clients of your service is essential. This includes only communicating through the agreed application channels. Avoiding texting or messaging clients through other social media apps is recommended.
- No distractions – If video is included in the virtual interaction, make sure the caregiver’s environment has no personal items in view or other distractions (family members, pets etc) and they are dressed professionally.
- Lag time – Delays can occur even with the best virtual video platforms. Keep this in mind when speaking with users. A good rule is to wait two seconds before speaking to ensure the user is finished with their sentence.
- In-depth screening application – These are critical prior to service for capturing as much information as possible about a patient’s health. Since many of these interactions are with first-time users, the provider lacks the patient history and rapport that develops through regular in-person visits.
- Informed consent – Securing patient consent ahead of a visit is often a requirement – and a best practice for telemedicine regardless of your location. Tell patients their rights, explain what the telemedicine process entails, and educate them on their responsibilities.
- Verbal and non-verbal cues – These are important to show the user you are listening. With a virtual interaction we don’t have as many visual clues of a patient’s status, so it is important to help them feel they are being heard and understood.
- Red flags – Have a list of conditions that should not be evaluated through a virtual consultation. If a patient is exhibiting chest pains, shortness of breath, fainting, etc, those individuals should be directed to go to the ER or see their doctor in person.
- Follow-up can be critical – If there are post-appointment follow-up needs, make sure the patient has a clear understanding of next steps to alleviate any confusion about follow-up activity.