Remote healthcare is exploding. In the wake of COVID-19, patients have demonstrated overwhelming enthusiasm for the safety and convenience of telemedicine video conferencing. Accordingly, it seems like more online healthcare practices pop up every day. However, figuring out how to do telehealth is not without its difficulties. Many clinics and individual practitioners aren’t aware of the best practices in telehealth and, therefore, struggle to provide the same level of care during virtual visits as they would during in-person visits.
Thankfully, with adequate planning, you can avoid the common pitfalls and offer exceptional virtual office visits and telemedicine services to your patients.
4 Best Practices In Telehealth For Happier Patients
If you’re wondering not only how to do telemedicine but how to do it well, the following best practices in telehealth are for you.
1. Choose the right equipment.
The key to a successful telemedicine and video conferencing setup is preparation. Most of the hard work should be done before you see your first patient. Resist the urge to cut corners during the equipment setup phase as a solid foundation will make the rest of the process easier for you and your patients. While there are dozens of items you could purchase for your remote office that might make life easier, only a few items are truly necessary.
- Upgrade your internet connection to a balanced line. Most internet services, even the expensive “high-speed” options, focus on download speed as the primary metric. To save bandwidth and make room for those massive download capabilities, ISPs often throttle upload speeds or cap them entirely. This is a problem for telehealth video conferencing. Since you will be uploading your video stream at the same time you are downloading your patient’s stream, it is important to have a balanced line where both uploads and downloads can reach high speeds.
- Opt for compatible network devices. When in doubt, hire a tech expert to choose the best modem and router for your needs.
- Research platforms optimized for the use of video conferencing in healthcare. The right platform can help you keep your notes and patient charts accessible and manage multiple resources or references as you work.
- Splurge on a premium external telemedicine webcam. Logitech offers some great options. Try one of the Logitech 920 models or upgrade to the 4k Brio for the best picture quality. Using a dedicated telemedicine camera will provide a far better experience than a built-in laptop webcam.
- Consider an external monitor. A large screen will hold your camera at eye level and allow for more natural interaction with your patients. Additionally, the extra screen real estate means you don’t have to shuffle windows to keep track of your notes as you work.
- Evaluate what your patients will see in your background. Even if you’re taking a call from home, that’s no excuse for a messy background. Choose a clean and professional backdrop, such as a customizable Anyvoo Voodrop, and select a simple color scheme without distracting logos.
- Optimize lighting and audio. Minimizing distractions should be your main goal here. Avoid bulky microphones and harsh lighting that can make your patient acutely aware of the technology that separates you.
2. Prioritize patient privacy and security.
Never conduct confidential business on the same home network your family uses. Similarly, avoid transferring sensitive patient information over shared business connections. Instead, set up a dedicated network and keep it password-protected.
We should mention that there are a few legal hoops to jump through in terms of patient confidentiality, seeing patients across state lines, and other considerations. Consult a lawyer before you start taking online health calls.
3. Maintain a high standard of professionalism.
Have you heard how some remote workers wear a suit jacket or a blazer for virtual meetings but have on pajama pants beneath the camera’s view? That won’t work for telemedicine, where your patient’s feelings of safety and comfort are directly tied to your appearance and presentation.
If you wear a lab coat to see your in-person patients, wear that same lab coat for your online appointments. If you have a small child at home, make sure your office is sound-dampened. A little forethought goes a long way when it comes to helping your patients feel at ease.
4. Grow comfortable with the process.
The reason you’re looking for a list of telehealth best practices is because you want to optimize your strategy and provide the best possible service to your online patients. This will take some practice.
Before you accept a call, run through a pre-appointment checklist. Log on and view yourself through the webcam, double-check your background, internet connection, and other important factors, and smooth out any wrinkles with audio and video permissions.
You want to be set up and ready to listen intently by the time your patient sees your face. When you feel comfortable with the technology, the barrier between you and your patient will disappear, and you will be able to provide the same excellent care as you would if you were together in an exam room.
Setting up a telemedicine practice is simpler with an Anyvoo backdrop.
Since maintaining professionalism is key to bolstering your patients’ comfort and confidence, take the guesswork out of your telehealth visits. Our backdrops provide a clean, consistent, and unobtrusive setting that is sure to put your patients at ease. Because they are so easy to set up and maintain, you can build the perfect setting in a snap and get back to what really matters: helping people live healthier lives. Visit our blog for more information on optimizing your video conferences with professional backgrounds.