The Clinician’s Guide to Telehealth VisitsMeri BrickNovember 18, 20214 minute read
Telehealth is a relatively new space, which means you probably just started practicing virtual medicine or are looking to begin. For the most part, virtual visits are conducted much the same way as traditional visits, but there are a few differing steps you should take to get started off on the right foot.
We put together this helpful checklist for you of all the areas to account for before, during, and after your telehealth visits to ensure it’s a seamless and effective process for you and your patients. Let’s dive right in and get you prepped to deliver the highest quality virtual care around.
Before the Visit
Set up Your Space
Whether you are seeing patients at the clinic, hospital, or at home, it’s important to set up your space to take appointments comfortably and securely. Make sure your surroundings are professional and welcoming to the patient. Some best practices to achieve this include:
Choosing a room with solid, neutral colors. This will create a calming and comforting environment and help to eliminate any background distractions.
Picking an area that is private (ideally with a door) and free of noise. You want to create a safeguarded, interruption-free zone to remove any risk of HIPAA violations or cause for concern in the patient.
Making sure your space has adequate lighting so the patient can see your face clearly without any glares in the camera. If needed, purchasing a ring light or lamp can guarantee this box is checked.
Double-Check Your Equipment
Testing your equipment is a definite must. Some of the biggest pitfalls with telemedicine visits are spotty internet and technology challenges. You should always:
Check your video software and camera
Test your sound equipment for high-quality audio
Prepare the software you are using to take notes (if needed)
During the Visit
There’s nothing worse than going into something blind; that increases tenfold when it’s tied to your health. This may be the first time your patient is receiving care virtually, so it’s important to educate them on the software you are using to conduct the visit and the process to expect. Here are some key points to cover quickly with your patient before diving into the reason for the visit:
HIPAA Best Practices: It’s critical to let the patient know which measures are in place to keep their private medical information confidential and housed securely. With virtual care visits, patients may be wary of their privacy as it is being conducted on devices over the internet.
Patient Comfort Level: Ask your patient if they have any questions or concerns about how the visit will be led before jumping into their health. Building that trust with the patient right away will go a long way in allowing them to open up and tell you what’s on their mind.
Ensuring the patient is comfortable can be the difference between a good visit and a bad visit. Communicating what’s taking place throughout the appointment can ease any potential uncertainty. Some good things to mention are:
Noting when you are writing or typing notes. This will let them know what you’re up to if you’re looking down or typing on your computer. And that you’re in fact, paying attention to what they’re sharing.
Pausing between talking points to address any questions that may be on their mind. This will eliminate any confusion or fear of interruption.
Clearly articulating next steps post-visit. Let the patient know exactly what they can expect after the end of the call. Whether this is sending in a prescription or lab request, calling back with results, or at-home remedies they should try.
After the Visit
Check In With the Patient
After the visit is done, it’s important to check in with your patient. Make sure they’re satisfied and feel they received the same quality of care they are accustomed to with in-person appointments. That’s also a great time to collect input on the technology and software used or recommendations to elevate their next virtual visit. This feedback not only helps you improve your delivery but also shows the patients that you care about the quality of care they received.
Document All Notes
This may sound like a given, but you would be surprised how often this step is overlooked. After your visit, you need to document all notes in your EHR, every little detail. Having thorough information in patient records will help future healthcare providers treat them.
To Sum it Up
Following these best practices will help your telehealth visits go smoothly with the highest quality of care possible. Since you’re here to learn how to best treat your patients virtually, is it too bold to assume you may be looking for shifts in telehealth?
OpenLoop can help! Join our leading clinician network for access to top paying telehealth opportunities with leading digital health companies across the US.
The OpenLoop network is comprised of certified, expert clinicians like you! From physicians to nurse practitioners to therapists and specialists, we personally match you with clinician advocates who will understand your interests, motivators, and skillsets to pair you with telehealth companies that value the same. Our mission is to give you back control of your schedule, while allowing you to do work you’re proud of and excited about.
What perks do you get from joining the OpenLoop network?
Full job transparency: You get to see the job details and payment information before you accept the position so you know exactly what you are signing up for!
Control over your schedule: You have complete control over your schedule. You decide what days and hours you are available to work and we find shifts that match.
Knowledge growth: On top of finding top telehealth jobs, you will grow your knowledge and learn the ins and outs of the telehealth industry to further your career.
Sound like something you may be interested in? Apply to join the OpenLoop network today!
Jess Greiner Director, Marketing