Telehealth services are becoming more normalized, and if you’re working with patients who have never used them before, the technology can feel a bit challenging and even a little off-putting. We have some tips on how to help your patients feel more comfortable with these visits, and how you should incorporate adjustments depending on the patient’s age and comfort level with digital meetings.
Find Out How New Telehealth is to Patients
First, ask whether the patient has ever used a similar service. If this is your patient’s first time with an online or over-the-phone appointment, you’ll want to explain what it means and how it will be similar and different to in-office appointments. Talk about the reasons that telehealth makes sense. Explain that the health of patients and care providers is the ultimate goal for you and your staff, and it limits the risk for everyone.
Help your patients to understand that this session is happening live, in real time. To young children or individuals who don’t do this all the time, it could feel like they’re watching a video.
Discuss Security and Privacy Concerns
Almost everything is done online today; from schooling to shopping to gaming. A lot of your patients may understand immediately that encrypted technology is at work and that all the protections and requirements of HIPAA (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act) are still in place. But, sharing personal information electronically can still be a source of unease for many of your patients.
Provide all of the information and assurance that your patients need in order to feel safe. Let them
know they are live in a session with you, but not on the internet. A little extra reassurance about
confidentiality and privacy will go a long way in making them feel more comfortable during the
If you’re recording the session, make sure your patients are aware of it and willing to participate in that recording. Consent is required, and if you’re working with adolescents or teens, they may have questions about whether the recording will be shared with parents or guardians. Talk about the mandatory disclosures and explain why you’re recording the visit. If you get a lot of pushback or a patient who do not consent to the recording, don’t try to talk them into it. Work within the
parameters of their own comfort.
Pay Attention to Visual and Audio Elements
Save some time in the beginning of each Telehealth appointment to address any visual or audio
difficulties. Make sure the lighting is good, and ask your patients to test their microphones if you’re having trouble hearing them.
Do what you can to make them comfortable with the visuals that they’re getting from you, as well.
Make sure your office is visible. Let them feel like they’re in a clinical setting even if they’re in front of their laptop. Your patient will want to see it when you nod, frown, or make any facial expressions. Pay attention to audio and video quality because you’re trying to give your patients the best possible experience. Leave time for questions and adjustments.
These are just a few of the things that we believe will help you and your patients feel more comfortable with the increased demand for Telehealth services. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Horizon Revenue Solutions.