Virtual meetings have become more common due to the Coronavirus. Click here for some of our best practices for a great Telehealth patient experience.

One of the biggest effects of COVID-19 has been an increase in the use of virtual meetings. Many healthcare providers must now make use of modern digital and communication technologies to provide virtual care to patients. By the end of 2020, virtual telehealth visits are expected to reach 1 billion, with 900 million of them attributed to COVID-19.

According to Deloitte, 77 percent of patients that use telehealth systems were satisfied with the services provided. So, it is likely that virtual meetings and telehealth will continue being popular even after the pandemic.

But medics must follow telemedicine best practices to ensure the best customer experiences with telehealth. Read on for the best practices for holding virtual meetings that medical practitioners should follow.

Establish Eligibility Criteria for Telehealth Patients

One of the best practices for telehealth is to review the patients you sign up for virtual meetings. At the least, the patients should have the cognitive and physical abilities to sit through an online meeting.

Their home environment should also be conducive to a virtual meeting. That is, they should have internet connectivity, a computer or smartphone, and a place where they can have a meeting without disturbance.

With time and practical experience, you can streamline the eligibility criteria to enroll patients for virtual care. Include factors such as social determinants and the patients’ willingness to take part. Take the pandemic into account at this time and provide COVID resources to help patients adjust.

Don’t Rush the Installation Visit

The success or failure of virtual meetings starts during the installation of the telehealth system. When the patient is first introduced to the system, they should get thorough training on how to use the equipment. Patients should also learn the objectives of the telehealth program.

Knowledgeable staff should do the installations and equipment training. This way, they can answer any questions the client may have.

During the installation, someone from headquarters can place a video call to the patient so that they may know how it works. The provider calling the patient can then go through an initial introduction to the telehealth program and its main objectives. The caregiver should also be present during the installation so that they can know how the system works.

The company should also provide a detailed information packet or training video about the program and operation of the equipment. Clients that know the purpose of the telehealth program and are confident about operating the communication platform will be more relaxed and confident during your virtual meetings.

Train Your Telehealth Practitioners

For telehealth virtual meetings to be successful, it is a must to train practitioners on how to operate the digital platform. Additionally, they would need training on online communication skills to keep clients engaged throughout the meeting. Some of the best communication practices in telehealth history include:

  • establishing the purpose of the meeting from the outset
  • asking open-ended questions
  • reading and responding to clients’ body language

Providers should also make sure that they look presentable when they appear on camera. Showing up for a virtual meeting while sloppily dressed will raise questions about your program in the clients’ minds.

The provider should also prepare for the meeting. They can go through the patient notes and prepare any equipment they will need before the meeting. Pausing the meeting to look for items appears very unprofessional.

Create a Support System for Your Telehealth Providers

Another great idea for best practices in medicine telehealth is to create a forum for your providers to engage. Practitioners need a place where they can share best practices for conducting online meetings.

Additionally, if they have had stressful or difficult days, the forum can be a great place for them to debrief and get support and encouragement. This is particularly relevant during stressful times, such as in the middle of a pandemic or in fully virtual work environments where the providers never meet their colleagues face to face.

Conduct Regular Quality Checks

To ensure that your team is providing the best virtual meetings for your patients, organize regular quality checks. For example, you could randomly record meetings held by each of your providers. Afterward, get a trainer or administrator to listen to the call and make suggestions for improvement.

If the meeting was a great one that checked all the right boxes, congratulate the provider for their good work. You can also have clients fill out a survey after virtual meetings to establish their satisfaction with your services. This will also help with future medical advice given.

Telehealth Design Should Innovate in Technology and Processes

For the best virtual meeting experience for both your providers and clients, use the best technology but also streamline your processes. Your technology should have great visual and audio capability and strong and reliable connections. It can be annoying for your users if they can’t see or hear each other during a meeting or if the connection isn’t reliable.

Other than technology, your processes need to be as user friendly as possible. For example, your providers should have as much information and history about the patient as possible before the meeting. This allows for more time during the meeting to discuss more useful information.

Include the Caregiver

Inviting the caregiver to virtual meetings increases the chances of the success of a telehealth program. Many patients, particularly elderly ones, are wary of technology and may resist virtual care. But if the caregiver also attends the meetings, the patient will be more willing to sign up for and attend telehealth programs.

The caregiver will also be administering the treatments recommended during a meeting, so it is important for them to be part of the discussion. Adherence to the treatment program will improve if the caregiver knows exactly what the patient should be doing.

Make Your Telehealth Virtual Meetings Work

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the usefulness and effectiveness of virtual care and telehealth. But for a telehealth program to succeed, you must conduct virtual meetings according to the best medical standards.

The best virtual meetings need innovative technology, streamlined processes, and well-trained providers. To take advantage of telehealth service for your practice, contact us today.