Telemedicine is a technical version of the medicine care provided in hospital settings by a physician and obviously requires a completely different skill set. As the motive of implementation of telemedicine is to increase patient engagement, the facility must be technically well-equipped with necessary components that are required to make the therapy successful and more importantly must suffice the purpose of engaging patients in their therapy processes so that the outcome is increased patient satisfaction.
For an effective telehealth visit, technology plays an important role. The US population is growing and people aging 65 years and more is said to make up 19% of the total US population by 2030 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4795318/). As a result, the rate of chronic health conditions are also projected a considerable increase and people will be spending more on chronic disease management. The telehealth platforms for such aged population must be simple, easy to use, and provide accessible features. Most importantly, users must be properly trained to extract maximum benefit out of the user-friendly medicine technology. On the other hand, it is easier for the younger population to use the advanced telehealth mechanisms.
Obviously, implementing a telemedicine procedure needs certain kind of pre-arrangements. Let us have a closer look at the details to be considered while approaching for a video visit.
Here is the checklist for implementing a virtual clinic visit:
- Use a high-quality web camera: To replicate the feel of a real visit in a virtual visit, the need is to use a good quality camera. Patients should be able to see the doctor’s face clearly for feeling comfortable and responding positively to the treatment procedure. Also, the doctors need to reassure that the patients are using a webcam that is sufficient for a clear picture. Although most computers and laptops feature an integrated webcam, patients must test the visual quality of the cams before a virtual visit.
- Have the camera at the eye level: Leveling the camera at the eye-level enables a better eye contact with the patient and ensure a better connection.
- Use quality sound equipment: Most of the computer systems today have built-in good quality sound systems. However, for a medical communication to be successful, the sound equipment must be capable of minimizing the background noise and detecting low frequency sounds that are not in the hearing range of human ears. Also, both must perform a test using a sound recording program on their systems to ensure proper audibility.
- Finalize a dedicated space for virtual visits: For a virtual visit, not only the required equipment needs to be installed correctly, but the surrounding environment also must be taken into consideration. It must be private and away from distractions as it is only then that the patients will feel that their information is secured.
While preparing for the virtual visit, the following things need to be considered:
- Test the webcam for clarity of visibility to be able to see the person at the other end for efficient interaction.
- Make sure the volume and microphone is on and is audible to avoid any miscommunications during the procedure.
- Plug your mobile or computer device
- Prefer using a wired connection as there is no possibility of losing the internet connection. If you are using a wireless connection, ensure that it offers a high speed so that the interaction doesn’t stop abruptly.
- Close unnecessary programs as opening too many windows may hamper the speed due to overload on the memory.
- Choose the right browser that the medicine portal works best with.
- Dress appropriately as virtual doctor’s visit is nothing different than a real visit except the distance.
- Adjust the lighting to display a clear and visible image.
- Go through the patient concerns before the meeting if it is handily available.
During the virtual visit, follow the below guidelines:
- When prompted, share the screen to start the video chat
- Have the support team’s number handy for use whenever needed, i.e in case any technical problems erupt
- Follow the same guidelines as in the in-person visit
- Have proper body postures and gestures to show that you are engaged actively in the treatment procedure
- Be clear while explaining the next steps to the patient
The above checklist is thoughtfully prepared to have a successful virtual visit. However, there are certain specifications that pertain to particular telemedicine platforms that are to be considered before implementing a virtual visit between a doctor and a patient. At Lifecycle Health, we ensure that both the doctors as well as the patients are comfortable before initiating the video visit so that there are no loopholes in the treatment procedure leading to any ambiguities. Telehealth is introduced to simplify healthcare procedures and invest in time-saving, cost-efficient methodologies. The Lifecycle team encourages telemedicine and aims to take the care procedures at a completely different level. To know more, visit http://www.lifecyclehealth.com/.