How to Prepare Your Patient for their First Telemedicine Appointment
Telemedicine refers to the online one-on-one clinical sessions between doctors and patients. In the era of COVID’19, telemedicine has become even more relevant than it was a year ago. With an increase in demand for remote consultations from patients, many platforms, such as SmartClinix, that are HIPAA-compliant aim to provide doctors with seamless, lag-free communication with patients.
As useful as telemedicine is, some patients may show reluctance in using it, especially the older generation. This is because they are not as comfortable using technology and fear they may not get the same quality of service they would receive face to face. Luckily, most patients overcome this hesitancy once they are properly educated regarding the convenience of single-click scheduling of screening and tests. Following are a few telehealth tips for patients to help them prepare for their appointments so that they get the healthcare they deserve:
Get them comfortable with the technology
In advance to the arrival of the appointment date, it is important for the patient to know how to use the telemedicine application they would be accessing for their appointments. Before they do so, you should explain where and how they can download the application on their device. SmartClinix has apps available on both the App Store for iOS devices and the Play Store for Android. To help patients with understanding the technology, you can set them up with a mock-appointment with your assistant. Doing this would allow them to learn their way around the application so that they are well-prepared and comfortable for their actual scheduled appointments.
Proper Wi-Fi connection and device(s):
All online consultations require Wi-Fi enabled devices. Before your patient’s scheduled appointment, they must ensure that they have a Wi-Fi connection strong enough to support undisruptive sessions. Additionally, the device they use for the appointment should have a high-quality audio and video option to make the whole experience seamless. This can be done with an audio and video quality test before the start of the session. The test is necessary to ensure that the patients do not miss any important points during the appointment just because of bad audio or video quality.
Ask them to write down and photograph symptoms:
It is important to remind the patient to write down all the symptoms they are experiencing beforehand so that they do not miss any of them. Similarly, it may be difficult and awkward to show the symptoms on video, which is why you should ask the patient to take multiple, well-lit photographs from a high-quality camera before the appointment. Progression of the symptoms should also be documented by the patient to understand the severity of the case better. SmartClinix allows patients to store all medical records on the patient portal, which makes reviewing and editing all the patient’s medical records and images easier for doctors.
Make sure any medical equipment you may require is within the patient’s reach:
In case you need to take the patient’s temperature or blood pressure, the devices should be available so that precious time is not wasted while they look for them. Asking the patient to take readings while on call can help you ensure they are following proper instructions, as you do not want faulty readings.
Request them to write down any questions beforehand
Your patient can forget any important questions they might have wanted to ask. It is wise to advise them to write them down prior to the appointment. Request them to keep a notepad in front of them so they can jot down any new questions that might arise mid-session. Towards the end, you can answer all the questions together, and encourage them to take notes in case they forget.
Private and distraction-free environment
For the appointment, it is crucial that the patient is in a quiet and distraction-free environment. You should advise them to look for a well-lit, comfortable, and discreet spot at their home. In case they need the emotional support of a family member or translation services, third parties can be invited to join the session with the help of the triage facility offered by SmartClinix. This facility can even be used for assistance if patients have hearing or visual impairments or to invite other medical professionals for a second opinion.
To make healthcare more accessible to everyone in the country, SmartClinix provides private sessions with healthcare professionals to avoid the social stigma attached to some illnesses. SmartClinix has therefore joined hands with the Aids Healthcare Foundation. By connecting patients with AIDS specialists across the globe, SmartClinix provides expert opinions needed by patients of HIV. Sign up today with SmartClinix as it is the best way to do telemedicine!
Dr. Josh is a physician who's helping spread the knowledge about Telehealth and its advantages. At SmartClinix, he's providing his expertise and knowledge in the form of engaging articles on various health & tech related topics.
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