telemedicine

Telehealth is an important clinical delivery model, especially for home-based providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some practical implementation considerations:

Practice Implementation

  • Consider current and future COVID-related workflow needs when selecting a technology vendor
  • Train staff by conducting mock virtual visits among team members
  • Develop documentation templates and educate staff on documentation and consent requirements
  • Define the scheduling process (e.g., time slot allotments for virtual versus in-person visits)
  • Use support staff to set up the visit with patients/caregivers before connecting the provider

Provider Telehealth Etiquette

  • Conduct visits in a well-lit, private space; choose solid-colored clothing/backgrounds
  • Greet patients as you would normally, consider showing your I.D. badge to new patients
  • Set camera at eye level, maintain eye contact, and explain if and why you need to look away
  • Speak in a normal tone of voice using empathetic speech and body language
  • Keep “lag time” of technology in mind, allow for pauses
  • Communicate next steps (e.g., follow-up appointments, prescriptions)

Post-Visit

  • Conduct patient and caregiver satisfaction surveys, analyze feedback
  • Identify outcome metrics (e.g., number of successful visits, phone versus video, technical difficulties, billing level)
  • Discuss challenges and successes with your team
  • Conduct internal monitoring and audits to ensure documentation and compliance requirements are met for all types of telehealth encounters