Does your practice use virtual visits? If so, how long have you been offering telehealth?
Whether it has been a couple of weeks, months, or a few years, continuous refinement of skills will only increase your patients’ appreciation for telemedicine. However, your providers don’t need lessons in the theatre to connect with patients via video screens effectively.
Below we prepared 7 practical suggestions that will help providers feel more comfortable with virtual visits, which will result in patients feeling more at ease using the technology. With experience and a willingness to embrace new ideas, your telehealth platform will set you apart from the competition.
7 Tips to Create a Successful Telehealth Practice
- Make sure your patients can see you clearly—adjust your camera to eye-level and keep the room well lit.
- Practice virtual visits with staff and family to gain experience and become more comfortable with patients.
- Set clear expectations upfront with patients— share how you plan to conduct the virtual visit, reaffirm benefits, and answer the patient’s questions.
- Show empathy—let patients know you’re becoming familiar with virtual visits as well—to help make them feel more comfortable.
- If you’re running late, use the clinical admin user functionality or an alternative workflow to enable support staff to communicate delays with patients.
- Use the camera and microphone on/off toggles after you let the patient know that you need to step out.
- Ask for feedback—encourage patients to share their thoughts after the virtual visit.
Another great option to set you apart from the competition is knowing the right answers to frequently asked questions. It will build confidence as your practice takes the lead in virtual care.
What Your Providers Might Ask
- How can I benefit from virtual visits?
In addition to lowering patient and provider risk of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, virtual visits can help you:
- Meet with patients through cloud-based access on any device, anywhere
- See patients without the stress of a crowded waiting room
- Make it easier for patients with limited mobility to access care
- Make chronic care management more accessible and convenient for patients
- Reduce no-shows and appointment cancellations
- How can I effectively document in my EHR during the visit?
Using technology that’s integrated with your EHR allows you to document as you normally would. See Integrated Virtual Visits: The Key to Patient Access and Safety to learn more.
- Where can I find information on reimbursement, billing, and coding for virtual visits?
Check with your state healthcare agency. Reimbursement guidelines can change frequently and vary by state, practice, and payer. Most states have commercial insurance virtual visit laws, and many of them mandate that a virtual visit is reimbursed at the same rate as an in-office visit. Medicare has also made substantial progress toward enhanced telehealth reimbursement.
What Your Patients Might Ask
- What can I expect from a virtual visit with my doctor?
Virtual visits are similar to office visits, but allow you to visit a provider via video from the comfort of your home. There are no hassles with traffic, parking, and waiting rooms.
- How secure are virtual visits, and how is my privacy protected?
Talk with your provider ahead of your appointment to discuss the measures in place to safeguard your privacy and health records. This level of protection can be maintained with a secure, HIPAA-compliant HD video.
- What if there is a technical problem?
It’s recommended to test your device and connection before appointments. The staff of your healthcare provider can assist you if any technical difficulties arise. Watch The Benefits of Virtual Visits to learn more about the advantages of telehealth from the patient’s perspective.
Move forward with confidenceBy the end of 2020, it’s been estimated there will be approximately one billion virtual healthcare interactions. From the business side of healthcare, doctors can see an average of six patients per hour via video visits, compared with an average of 1.6 for in-person visits. Regardless of your telehealth experience, these tips can help your practice regain and even grow patient volume to secure success in the future.
To establish a successful telehealth practice get your Telehealth Marketing Toolkit today.