Virtual care is growing more popular by the day among patients and physicians, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps a few of the reasons for its growing popularity include the ease of access to medical professionals that it offers patients, the additional revenue stream it offers physicians, and the safety from infectious disease that it offers patients.
At one New York hospital, urgent and non-urgent virtual appointments grew by 683 percent and 4,345 percent, respectively, between early March and mid-April.
The need to teach providers how to conduct a successful virtual care visit is obvious. These six tips will help physicians and clinicians offer their virtual patients valuable telehealth services.
6 Tips for Your Next Virtual Care Visit
Offering virtual health services is not as simple as transferring skills that providers use during in-person visits to virtual space, though many of those skills remain important. To summarize, providers need to communicate more effectively to compensate for the limitations of interacting through a digital medium.
Try these tips if you find virtual care visits challenging at first:
Introduce Yourself and Clearly State Your Role
As the provider, you are responsible for setting the tone of your virtual appointments. One of the best ways to present a professional, informative persona during these appointments is to introduce yourself and tell your patient what your role is as their care provider.
Make Your Patient Feel Comfortable
It is also important not to take on a tone that is too formal during the visit. You want to make your patient feel comfortable so that they open up to you about their concerns. When they describe the issue that they are having, make sure to validate their concerns verbally. You can also make them feel like they are being heard by addressing them by their name.
Discuss Confidentiality and Consent
Before the visit, be sure to confirm patient consent. At the time of the visit, also discuss patient confidentiality, especially concerning others in their end who might be able to hear your conversation.
Introduce Staff Who May Be Participating
Continuing with the confidentiality conversation, if there is anyone from your staff who will be participating in the virtual care visit, introduce them at the beginning of the appointment to avoid any surprises.
Collect Feedback on the Virtual Care Visit
Each virtual appointment presents an opportunity for you to improve your processes, so consider collecting feedback from your patient at the end of the visit. They may have some insights into how you can make your appointments more effective and more enjoyable for your patients.
Follow up with Your Patients
After your virtual visit, be sure to follow up with your patient. If you referred your patient to a specialist, make sure that they are able to connect, either online or in person.
Talk to Us about Implementing Your Virtual Care Services Today
Now that you understand a few of the keys to a successful virtual patient visit, get in touch with us to see how we can help you implement virtual healthcare for your practice.