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Often, an office visit is an unnecessary inconvenience for the patient and a time suck for the physician and staff. General check-ups and consultations can be performed virtually, either over the phone or via video conferencing. Going over test results, performing medication reviews, and many follow up appointments are examples of visits that can easily be done remotely. The key is making sure both the patient and the medical practitioner have the right equipment.
1) An Internet-Enabled Device
Both the provider and the patient must have access to an internet-enabled device, whether it's a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. At a minimum, a 15 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload is best for smooth real-time conferencing, regardless of the device used. This can be achieved on a strong home internet WiFi signal or by using a computer directly connected to the internet. On a smartphone using data, the client will need to have a strong signal.
2) A Webcam and Microphone
Although one can't do a perfect assessment via video, being able to have visuals can help with both diagnostics and building rapport with your patient. For this reason, a webcam and a microphone should be a requirement for all patients scheduling telehealth visits.
3) Telehealth Software Access
Both the practitioner and the patient need to be able to access an easy but secure portal for the telehealth visit. The best software provides connection options, typically a website one can use or an app one can download to a phone or tablet. Avoid the temptation to use a free messaging app or teleconference service, as these are usually not secure enough to meet the privacy requirements outlined by HIPPAA. A telehealth service will also have other useful integrated features, such as diagnostic and logging tools or the ability to issue prescriptions and paperwork directly through the service portal. Further, many apps log the visit details automatically, making it easy to refer to later.
4) Diagnostic Tools
Depending on the type of visits you are using telehealth for, it may be useful to require that your patients have access to certain home diagnostic tools, such as a thermometer, blood pressure cough, or an oximeter. Proper diagnostic tools may be vital if you are scheduling frequent online visits to monitor an ongoing health condition. Make sure your patients know if any such tools are necessary before they schedule their appointment.
Contact a telehealth provider to find out more about implementing this service in your medical office, as well as address any concerns you may have about telemedicine requirements.Share
28 August 2020