We asked our providers to share tips for how to make these visits as valuable as possible for the patient and the provider.
- First, relax. Virtual visits are new for you and your patients. Have fun with it. “I’ve loved learning this new way to interact with our patients and have met lots of spouses, pets, and kids on camera along the way!” says Kelly McDonald, MD, an OurHealth physician in Charlotte, NC.
- Before you begin the visit, make sure you’re in a private space with good lighting and no background noise. Sitting near a window can be a huge help if you have low lighting.
- It’s vital to find a chair that provides the support you need. “Seriously, this is a big one and after almost two months of delivering virtual visits I finally have a chair I love and my neck and back are grateful!” says McDonald.
- Ask the patient if they can see and hear you clearly. Do this early on so you can work out any technical issues at the beginning of the appointment and avoid frustrations.
- Once connected with the patient, first, ask for identifying information. Have the patient confirm their full name, DOB, home address (for HomeMed purposes), and a phone number (to call back if the connection is lost).
- If a patient is driving – ask them to pull over! (Don’t virtual and drive!) Offer to restart the visit after they pull over safely within a reasonable period of time (<5 minutes).
- Own everything on that patient chart. Don’t assume that the information in the chart is up to date or correct. If it is a new patient, fill in those blanks on that chart! Reconcile the medication list, confirm drug allergies, reconcile the problem list.
- Update any relevant history especially if the visit is short/simple.
- Don’t be afraid to attempt a physical exam via the virtual platform!
- Before you hang up, review next steps, offer to schedule a follow-up appointment, and finalize any directions for prescriptions.
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