Slowly and steadily, technology is taking over the healthcare industry, and Telehealth is one such amazing product that took a massive shift during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Looking at the statistics, the telehealth market in the US is estimated to see an eruptive growth in the year 2020 and is evaluated to see a seven-fold growth by 2025 with an increase of 64.3% with each passing year.
These numbers are a good sign for Healthcare investors to see their money growing, but the question is; Are the healthcare providers and the general staff ready for this digitized change?
How will this technology solution generate effective results if the providers itself are unaware of its potential?
This calls for a virtual healthcare program that trains these providers to learn some basics of Telehealth operation that can make proper usage of the invested technology to provide quality care.
Below are some of the telehealth best practices that can help healthcare providers ease their working with this new technology healthcare solution.
Technical tips for training staff for telehealth service
1) Acknowledge telehealth features
The senior doctors working at the hospitals might not be aware of various features that the telehealth app provides. Like a symptom checker will interact with patients to collect data, whereas there are many Telehealth apps that come along with inbuilt e-note features to write the prescription.
The need for high-tech cameras or webcams and the availability of uninterrupted internet connection are the basic needs, the healthcare providers must have knowledge about how these things can be put on and about its workings. Knowing this will help them do their duty easily and they would get an idea about the capability of the tech solution and how they can use different aspects of the app during the virtual treatment.
2) Proper understanding of telehealth app
Hospitals and healthcare fraternity are working in offline mode for ages. The patients too have been habituated with visiting physical clinics to get themselves treated. The telemedicine industry is booming but the perception of healthcare through applications and software is still new for people to accept it.
Doctors and nurses being a reliable source for the patients. Such a new concept when directly coming from them would have a greater impact on patients than any other advertisements. Here the medical professionals must understand the technicality of the apps to determine which healthcare backlogs or offerings like delay in delivery time are these apps solving. Understanding these small tech offerings of the telehealth solution would help them impart better knowledge to their patients to have a faster virtual shift to healthcare.
3) Prepare a list of technical FAQs
No matter how much you train your staff, they might have some common questions that they would resist to ask. Your team at different levels might require different training. Some would get it on one shot, while others who are less exposed to technology might be fixing out their doubts on how certain things work.
Having a common technical FAQ prepared would help them avoid any direct interrogation with the experts and they would get access to all their queries answered through this list. Ask your telehealth vendor to brainstorm it for you and record all the questions to prepare a document or a video that can act as a reference for the staff member for later use.
You can also appoint a power user who is specially trained to deal with technical issues and can act as a central point of contact for every Telehealth concern.
4) Train them for virtual visits setups
Having an understanding of the features of the app is not enough, the healthcare professionals have to learn to set up the virtual environment to make the Telemedicine visits successful. During remote healthcare, you are not physically with the patients to treat them so it’s important for the healthcare professional to have a set up that feels comfortable to the patient virtually.
Train them to have proper lighting, set the angle of the cameras so that they can have direct eye-contact with them and help them speak while looking at the screen and talk to their patients to discuss their problems. The proper setup for the virtual visits has a great impact on the success ratio of the service as the experience of the patient would decide whether the patient would like to continue getting such services. Healthcare professionals can also take the help of the conventional method of using a pen and paper just for an initial practice during their virtual visit to note their symptoms or prepare their healthcare record files.
5) Encourage members to practice it with each other
The knowledge is of no use if these practitioners don’t put it into implementation. The verbal training would not be enough to help the staff understand the full working of the software. Propose the staff to have a role play where some of them would act as a patient and have a scenario of an actual virtual visit.
This will help them get familiar with the telehealth software and thus facing fewer issues in the actualized scenario with real patients. This test would help them acknowledge the series of tech actions they need to perform before every visit and would ensure all systems are working smoothly while testing video quality and internet connectivity and speed.
Telehealth apps have improved the healthcare facilities to a greater extent, there are no signs that this tech solution would vanish post-COVID-19. With its ability to change the lives of millions, the Telehealth industry is here to stay and this is why its main users or providers that are healthcare professionals and their staff need to have the proper technical knowledge to help this solution provide healthcare at its highest potential.
Accepting it as a part of new normal, Telemedicine with its HIPAA compliance security has indeed the power to bring revolution in the industry and with the right information and knowledge, healthcare professionals can contribute to this long term success journey of the telehealth industry.