As a new normal of physical distancing takes hold, many healthcare professionals are consulting their patients virtually. While virtual consultations can be just as effective as in-person appointments, they may be a little daunting at first. As with most things, preparation is key. Here are a few tips to help ensure your time is focused on the patient, not technology.
Gather the right tools for the job.
You will need:
- a webcam-enabled computer, smartphone or tablet with good quality speakers, a microphone and a web browser
a good quality headset – optional, but useful for eliminating ambient noise or a hollow-sounding effect; and protects the patient’s confidentiality and privacy
a strong internet connection
a telehealth tool like Kroll Virtual Consultation
Before the consultation.
Test your equipment once a day before beginning your virtual consultations
Make sure your volume is on, the audio is clear, and your microphone, camera and speakers are in good working order.
Minimize distractions as much as possible
Close unnecessary programs, apps and alerts. Block incoming calls on your mobile device, and post a sign on the door indicating that a virtual consultation is in session.
Choose a quiet space where you can be alone to protect your patient’s privacy. Make sure the background is neutral, clean and organized. Check the lighting behind you. You may need to lower the window blinds to soften the light in the room and make your image more visible to the patient.
Optimize your position
Angle your camera so your patient can see you from your shoulders to above the top of your head. Make sure that your camera is at eye level to help maintain eye contact. You may have to adjust the height of your chair.
During the consultation.
Stay engaged and maintain eye contact. If you need to take notes or check on something, explain to your patient what you’re doing.
If you do need to speak to someone other than the patient, mute your microphone.
If your patient has audio problems or difficulty hearing and has trouble understanding what you’re discussing, use the Live Chat feature to help clarify things. You can also send links for further information.
Preparing your patients for a successful virtual consultation.
For many patients, virtual consultations can be intimidating. Download a patient guide handout to share with your patients, to help them make the most out of virtual consultations. Download.
As healthcare evolves, virtual consultations are likely here to stay. Clear communication and the right technology can help you and your patients embrace this new generation of care delivery.
If you’re looking for more information on how to get started with Kroll Virtual Consultation visit this page.
Ready to get started with Kroll Virtual Consultation? Contact us.