Telemedicine provides an amazing opportunity for a medical provider to provide quality patient care from a remote location. The medical provider has access to an array of devices for checking a patient’s vital medical information. It’s all you need…..or is it?
Studies upon studies have shown the importance of patient interaction and etiquette. With good reason, patients are often stressed and concerned in encounters with medical personnel. It’s important for medical providers to take this into account when providing medical care through telemedicine. They need to put forth their best webside manner to put their patient at ease.
Can you see me now?
To treat a patient, the medical provider needs to see the patient, and the patient needs to see the medical provider. Seems obvious, doesn’t it. Unfortunately, there are many of us that have been on the other end of a video call in which we see half the face of the person at the other end of the camera. That doesn’t work in the world of telemedicine.
To ensure a successful webside manner, the medical provider must ensure there is adequate lighting and a camera angle so that the patient has a clear view of the provider, just as if the patient is sitting in the same room as the provider. Likewise, the medical provider needs to clearly see the patient to observe nuances such as facial expression that may show pain, concern, or other indications of how the patient is feeling.
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Remember, they can see you now
There is more to webside manner than just being able to see each other – the fact the patient can see the medical provider clearly. What does that mean? That means, the medical provider needs to be dressed professionally. Professional attire, whether it’s a white coat or business style, inspires confidence in the medical provider’s abilities and expertise. It’s important for the medical provider to maintain eye contact with the patient. The patient needs to know he or she is being heard and is the focus of the medical provider’s attention.
Reach out across the lens
Dealing with patients is an intimate experience, and that is still the case when treating a patient through telemedicine. A strong webside manner goes a long way in easing a patient’s stress and concern. The key to success is:
- Connecting with the patient
- Acknowledge the patient
- Establish eye contact and smile
- Use the patient’s name
- Be police and friendly
- Listen to the patient
- Maintain eye contact
- Actively listen
- Repeat what you hear back to the patient
- Ask questions
- Make sure the patient understands what you are saying
Finally, when it’s time to end the call, the medical provider needs to provide the patient with a summary of what was said and advice the patient on what needs to be done in terms of follow-up.