If you’ve decided to take advantage of telemedicine technology to improve the profitability of your practice, provide more convenient service to patients and guard against the competitive threat of retail and online only providers, good for you! Of course, you’ll want these video visits to go as smoothly and effectively as possible and you’ll want to project the same friendly and professional image you do in the office. Here are a few tips to make that easy.
1 – Make Eye Contact
Be sure to look directly into the camera, especially when you are speaking. This will help your patient feel connected and show that you are fully engaged in the encounter.
2- Discourage Interruptions
It can be difficult for someone else in your office or home to tell the difference between when you are simply working on your computer and when you are conducting a video visit. Use a sign on the door or some other signal to let others know that this isn’t a good time to interrupt.
3 – Control Your Background
You can certainly do video visits from anywhere, but remember that your patient will see what is in the background. A messy office or personal space at home, probably isn’t the best look. They will also see other people if they are wandering around, so you want to make sure that you have the right conditions to protect patient privacy.
4 – Have the Right Technical Infrastructure
In addition to a purpose-built telemedicine software solution, you’ll want to be sure that you have adequate internet bandwidth and a good quality headset and/or microphone.
5 – Eliminate Distractions
Make sure that your office phone is set to Do Not Disturb and your mobile device is in silent mode. You’ll also want to close any computer programs or browser windows that might make noise.
6 – Try to Keep Your Hands Still
If you are someone who likes to talk with your hands, this one might be difficult, but lots of hand movements can be very distracting for the person on the other end of the video call. Try to keep your hands still unless you are using them to demonstrate something.
7 – Dress Simply
Of course, you’ll want to dress professionally and if you generally wear a white coat when you see patients in the office, by all means put it on. Avoid very bright colors or bold patterns as these can make it more difficult for your patient to focus on you.
8 – Minimize Natural Light
Light from windows provides a variable light source that can conflict with interior lighting. It is better to close the windows and avoid any glare.
9 – Speak in Your Normal Voice
You don’t need to shout. Just speak in your normal voice, but be sure to ask the patient if they can hear you. If not, they may need to adjust their speaker volume or you may need to move closer to your microphone.
10 – Share Some Tips with Patients
If telemedicine is new to you, it probably is to your patients as well. It’s a great idea to create a cheat sheet or a blog post with these or other tips for your patients. The more that both of you utilize these best practices, the better the visit will go.