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10 telehealth best practices

Telehealth is here to stay. Here are 10 effective strategies to assist your practice in seamlessly incorporating telehealth long-term.

Physician applies telehealth best practices while speaking with a patient during a video call appointment

At a Glance

  • Adapt your bedside manner to the virtual environment by dressing professionally, fostering trust and rapport with patients, and observing their home environments for insights.
  • Leverage digital tools like handheld medical devices and ensure telehealth integrates smoothly into your workflow and adheres to regulations.
  • Prioritize data security with encryption and two-factor verification.
  • Choose a robust, HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform that seamlessly integrates with your EHR.

Telehealth saw a dramatic surge in popularity following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many believe we’ve entered a post-pandemic world, it's clear that telehealth has cemented its place in modern healthcare. We've gathered 10 effective strategies to assist your practice in seamlessly incorporating telehealth on a lasting basis.

Best practices for telehealth

Follow these best practices to ensure your telehealth services are optimal for your patients and your practice.

Adapt your bedside manner to suit a virtual environment

Aim to make telehealth sessions mirror face-to-face interactions as closely as possible. Pay attention to your patients, inquire about their concerns, and offer observations.

Aim to make telehealth sessions mirror face-to-face interactions as closely as possible. ”

If you've previously interacted with the patient, refer to that history during the session. Even if you’re conducting the session from home, dress as you would for an in-person appointment. Ensure optimal lighting and sound quality to enhance the experience. These steps are pivotal in fostering and preserving trust with your patients.

Be observant of the patient's environment

Telehealth offers the distinct advantage of seeing a patient’s home life. This insight can enhance your understanding of the elements influencing a patient's health. Furthermore, witnessing patients in their usual surroundings can offer a clearer picture of their mental health and overall wellness.

Patient Perspectives Report

Leverage digital tools

Without being able to access in-person lab tests and vital sign assessments, handheld medical instruments like glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors, and pulse oximeters can help fill in the gap. However, ensure that any device you use is thoroughly reviewed for accuracy.

Remain aware of health guidelines 

Familiarize yourself with any restrictions your patients may face related to the locations of telehealth appointments, as well as requirements for the length of visits. Adhering to these regulations is crucial for receiving reimbursement.

Be resourceful during the assessment process

While telehealth offers numerous advantages, it does come with constraints — notably, the lack of traditional tools you’d use in person. Strive to think of creative ways to evaluate patients based on items they’d commonly have at home.

Secure employee hard drives with encryption

Since many providers work from remote locations occasionally, there's an elevated risk of data compromise due to equipment misplacement or theft. Mitigate this by ensuring rigorous data encryption.

Optimize Operations

Implement two-step verification 

It's crucial to have only authorized individuals participate in a telehealth session. Employing two-step verification, where patients and providers receive one-time access codes, is an effective method to verify identities.

Employing two-step verification is an effective method to verify identities. ”

Ensure telehealth integrates smoothly into your workflow 

Telehealth appointments should align effortlessly with other appointments throughout your day, offering the same efficiency as face-to-face sessions. The aim is to transition smoothly between in-person and virtual appointments.

Establish a process for communication before and after visits

Outline a systematic procedure for patient check-ins and check-outs, as well as collecting co-pays. Additionally, ensure the methods for scheduling subsequent appointments and handling referrals are well-communicated among practice staff.

Choose a robust and secure telehealth system

Select a telehealth solution that is intuitive, integrates seamlessly with your EHR, is secure, and provides optimal virtual patient care.

Maintaining telehealth long-term

Telehealth is here to stay, so it’s vital for your practice to sustain successful strategies over the long run. While each of the mentioned best practices serves an important purpose, a key determinant of your telehealth program's success is also the platform you adopt. 

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Crystal Stanton, Digital Marketing Specialist

Crystal Stanton is a Digital Marketing Specialist with Henry Schein SolutionsHub. She has worked in the healthcare technology industry for nearly a decade, specializing in content creation designed to inform those working in the healthcare industry about the latest solutions to streamline their workflows.

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