August 25th, 2020 by Luis Mata Trejo
As the Covid-19 crisis continues to create challenges for most doctors' practices across the globe, some of the biggest mistakes doctors are making are related to telehealth solutions. Prescreening patients is now of utmost importance to ensure the well-being of all patients and office staff. Does the patient have a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, headaches (the list of symptoms continues)? Is the patient a carrier of Covid-19 and can they infect other patients or staff while they seek treatment?
These are real-world decisions that doctors have to determine every day on the safety of bringing a patient into the office. Technology comes to the rescue where pertinent questions can be asked through face to face interaction with the aid of video chat. Key decisions can be made by doctors where the patient can be prescribed medications, asked to come into the doctor’s office for further evaluation, contact CDC, or be asked to go to the Emergency Room.
Unfortunately, not all video chat tools are safe and meet the guidelines regarding patient privacy. Here are some common mistakes doctors make every day regarding telehealth:
- Free Meeting tools. Most Free Meeting tools do not have an end to end encryption. Encryption is necessary for the healthcare industry as patient privacy is a requirement.
- Choosing an Online Meeting Tool with little to no support means more work for your staff. We
always suggest that you have a person to call that will help resolve issues such as Call Quality,
Logging In, No Video, No Audio.
Testing and more testing!! So, you have your new software and you are ready to kick off with a list of patients ready to speak with a medical professional. And... nothing happens as your patients are having a hard time logging in with some trying to log in with Mac OSX operating system with no success. Test the software with friends, family, and staff, and do a quick test trial run with some patients. Do not go live unless you have worked all the bugs out of your software and your staff has an idea on how to help patients log in. Send clear instructions to your patients along with the meeting invite so they know what to do when logging in. Does the patient need to download an app, does the software only work with Microsoft products, and what kind of tablets or phones can be used? Again, these items need to be addressed before going live.
- Are you losing business by not telling your patients that telehealth is available? Certain age
groups such as senior citizens need to spend as much time possible indoors quarantined as Covid-
19 can be deadly to that particular age group. Is your patient going to find another doctor that is
known to be using telehealth?
Address this issue properly on your telephone auto attendant message. For example "If you would like to schedule a telehealth appointment press # 1". Make sure that you update your web page that clearly says Video Consultation available and during times of low volume with patients have your staff call past patients to inform of telehealth availability.
As mentioned previously the way doctors; offices run their daily operations has changed and this may be a permanent change. Republic Voice & Data has been in business for 31 years and has been a leader in bringing cutting edge technology to all its customers. If you would like to learn more about how to avoid telehealth mistakes
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