When it comes to telemedicine, the transition can often seem daunting. But there are a few things that can help your transition to this burgeoning form of healthcare be more successful.
One of the most appealing aspects of telemedicine for both providers and patients is the expanded availability it brings to the table. Direct-to-consumer, telemedicine bypasses the long car rides, scheduling conflicts, and geographic barriers to care. But it’s not just convenience that will help your telemedicine practice stand out.
The top telehealth providers have the following characteristics.
Have an Interest in Technology
Understanding electronic health records is just the tip of the iceberg when transitioning to telehealth. As a provider, you have to be willing to adapt to tech changes on a dime. You should be familiar or interested in: webcam, apps, telemedicine software, digital diagnostic tools — put your mastery of all things digital at the forefront.
Be Excellent at Communication
There’s no question, telehealth keeps you one layer removed from your patient. A positive, caring “webside” manner is key. Just as there is no crying in baseball, there’s no room for shyness in telemedicine. Clear communication will help both you and your patients when it comes to providing top-notch care.
- Follow the same guidelines clinically that you would with an in-person visit. Even though you can’t do an in-depth physical exam, you can still ask relevant and insightful questions.
- Stay engaged, it’s easy to let your mind wander when you’re not in front of someone physically, but just like an in-person visit, you still must provide clues that let your patient know you’re listening. Maintaining eye contact, nodding along, and explaining what you’re doing (“I’m taking notes, I’m looking for a pamphlet” etc.) when you look away will help your patient feel at ease.
- Explain next steps at the end of the visit and ask for feedback.
…And Passionate About Patient Care
Having an excellent bedside manner doesn’t always translate across digital spaces. Tech can change how you are perceived as a provider which is why communication and passion go hand-in-hand. Talking via video can feel quite impersonal, because it is.
Remember why you do what you do.
Be Willing to Work as a Team
Your ability to collaborate with others while not physically in the same space is paramount to creating a successful digital working environment, building your practice, or landing your next placement.
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