In most healthcare settings, it’s agreed that telehealth can be helpful, but professionals may not be clear about the video-related factors that can help or hurt the success of a visit by using telehealth. The steps below show how to ensure patient satisfaction in those situations.
A recent study shows that many healthcare workers using telehealth services no longer utilize many of their diagnostic skills due to the nature of virtual visits.
Many people believe that using screens, cameras, and microphones prevents them from having an empathetic connection. A recent survey reported that 51% of clinicians would be unable to demonstrate empathy towards a patient when telehealth is implemented.
Managing technology is a difficult task when it doesn’t work as expected. Studies find that 61.3% of clinicians describe a lack of digital literacy as the top barrier they face when using telehealth. Complaints about the lack of digital literacy are an issue that can negatively impact provider and patient satisfaction.
The best way to get comfortable with telepresence interactions is to train behind the scenes. Preparing for visits brings familiarity and confidence to the telepresence, and can help healthcare workers better connect in an empathetic way with their patients.
The single most damaging factor that can interfere with your video relationships is pretending to be in command when you are not. Your patients and clients are more likely to offer honest feedback if you take your blunders in stride, accepting them as part of the learning curve rather than trying (and failing) to pretend you know what you’re doing. By cultivating a more humble attitude about telepresence itself, you will be more confident in building and maintaining successful virtual relationships.
Learning to laugh at your mistakes combined with persistence is a successful way to strengthen the therapeutic relationship, rather than abandoning the problem or visit entirely. For example, a clinician recently reported in a training course that she had discontent with his primary care provider, who refused to tilt his screen so she could see more than the doctor’s eyes and forehead. She explained that the physician appeared in the lower two inches of her video screen, with the doctor’s rotating ceiling fan occupying the rest of the screen. The physician refused to tilt the screen and insisted that his screen was immovable. These obvious falsehoods damage the fabric known as the therapeutic relationship. Allowing oneself to be “teachable” and therefore human can be one of the biggest secrets to successful video relationships.
How well are you utilizing telepresence and digital literacy to enhance your video relationships with your clients? Resources exist to help you be successful in implementing telepresence.
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