5 Tips to Optimize your Telemedicine Appointments
The healthcare industry is clearly evolving, making telehealth, telemedicine, and remote patient care more significant components of care delivery.
Telemedicine in particular has advanced from a curious form of clinical communication to a mainstay in the way providers and consumers interact. It has gone from being a side feature of the healthcare system to an expectation.
According to the American Telemedicine Association (ATA), some of the telemedicine benefits are:
- Creates value for payers, consumers, and providers.
- Increased consumer access.
- Enhanced reach of healthcare services.
- Reduced cost structure.
- 24/7 coverage.
- Higher customer satisfaction.
- Reduced cost structure.
Defining the right appointment approach for your patients can help you prioritize appointments. Some patient issues can be treated with a brief phone call or a telemedicine visit. This approach ensures patients needing the highest level of care have better access to same-day appointments if necessary, and practice profitability is maximized.
Read more about this on our article Telehealth Services Explode, Making a Case for Hybrid Health Care
The future of telemedicine looks bright
Telemedicine enables medical professionals to spend more time focusing on their patients in a higher capacity while alleviating some of the burden and time management on the patient side. Additionally, it can support healthier and higher revenues by enabling medical professionals to attend to more patients.
Therefore, here are five tips to optimize telemedicine appointments:
Set up the stage
Be familiar with the equipment and technology you will be using. It is important to have a better understanding of how the system works, including how to troubleshoot common problems. Remember to have alternate options to reach the patient (phone, email, or text) in case something goes down. Additionally, the environmental component is as essential as the technical one. Make sure you have good lighting, minimize background noise, and confirm the patient can hear and see you well.
Prepare your patient before the appointment
Obtain an informed consent form from your patient before the session. Assess the patient’s familiarity with telemedicine and provide orientation (such as benefits, and security measures involved) as needed before the virtual encounter. You can consider giving a telemedicine checklist to help your patients better understand the process, set expectations, and prepare appropriately on their end.
Stay up to date
Have all the documentation you need ready. Remember to have your patient´s previous visit notes on hand. This will help you in case you need to refer to a patient´s previous note during a session for proper diagnosis. Also, it is important that you stay on top of any insurance policy changes regarding telemedicine. Regularly check with your payers to ensure your patients are still covered.
Open up online payment options
Just like in your face-to-face visits, patients will still need to pay for their co-pays after the telemedicine visit is done. Enlist a good payment processor that integrates with your patient portal, your website, or your practice management software (PMS). This will make things easier for your patient and help you collect your payments for these encounters faster.
Create a pleasing and professional environment
Communication is the number one factor influencing the patient experience. Even if it’s a virtual encounter and not an in-person one, it´s important to create an engaging and safe environment for the patient. Remember to maintain eye contact. If you need to look away, explain them what you are doing so to assume them that you are still paying attention. Maintaining consistent eye contact creates a positive and meaningful experience for the patient.
Technology is constantly evolving, and the way you and your medical practice deliver patient care should evolve as well. Those that adapt to these changes are set to see significant clinical and financial improvements.
To learn more about best practices and how to optimize your telemedicine appointments to increase revenue and improve patient care, get in touch with an AdvantEdge expert, or stay up to date on company and industry trends by visiting our Linkedin page.