A Few Things to Consider to Improve both the provider & patient experience when doing Telehealth
- Test the equipment. Take time to experiment and practice with the platform. Do practice visits with your staff is a great way for the entire team to learn
- Ensure you know how to get technical assistance. Most Telehealth platforms will have a phone number in the system to call for support.
- Make sure that your patient and you each have an alternative phone number to connect in case their are problems connecting
- Adjust the camera so that you fill the screen as much as possible instead of of also seeing your desk chair, walls or floor
- Its a good idea to test the equipment 10-15 minutes prior to the visit to ensure the video and audio are working
Improving Video Presence Tips
- Wear solid neutral colors. It never hurts to wear a lab coat, especially for the first visit
- Avoid fluorescent lighting. Natural daylight is ideal but can cause unnecessary glare if it coming for a window in the wrong place of your room. By just the right placement of a lamp can dramatically improve how you look on-screen
- Select a quiet location to avoid nose distractions. Your cell phone is probably your biggest noise maker so ensure it is set to vibrate or better muted.
- As with a face-to-face visit, avoiding chewing gum, yawning and other distractions.
- Take a seat- This may sound silly but studies have shown that a provider that simply takes the time to sit down greatly improves the perception of the patient. It sends a very strong non-verbal statement that tells them that you are focused on them and their visit
- Also, take the time to introduce yourself and smile
A Tips on Audio
- Speak in your normal voice. It is natural to feel that you need to use your “cell phone voice” and avoid this as much as possible
- If you have a fan or airflow that is directed at the microphone make sure it is turned off or block the air that is hitting your mic.
- If you type during your visit for taking notes make sure to let the patient know that you are typing THEIR notes. It easy for them to perceive that instead of documenting the visit you are multi-tasking
- Feedback can also be an issue for both patient and provider during a visit. This can easily be solved by simply using small ear bud headphones. It also ensures that the visit is kept private and that you alone can hear the patient in the event someone enters your room