Are you feeling uncertain about the technical aspect of your virtual clinic? We get it. Healthcare professionals know the human body, diagnoses, and patient management – on the other hand, not everyone is as confident with digital tools. But there is help! We have listed 5 tips that will help you make the most out of your platform.
1. Use the right browser
Many healthcare organisations use Internet Explorer by default, but the fact of the matter is that this browser has not been updated since 2013 and lacks support for the WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications) video format. We recommend that healthcare professionals use a web browser that is continuously updated and compatible with your selected solution for online consultations.
To easily access the right web browser, it is a good idea to have a shortcut to Google Chrome on your desktop. Set up the web application for video consultations as your home page or add it as a favourite so you can easily access the tool.
2. Customise your workstation
Camera & monitor
Do you use a laptop with a built-in camera for your video consultations? If so, we recommend that you invest a small amount of money in a desk that raises the computer so that the camera reaches eye level. This makes it easier to establish eye contact with the patient.
If you have a desktop computer, it can be advantageous to have two monitors connected to your computer. This will allow you to review the patient’s medical record during the video consultation. You can switch among various windows on one screen, but this may take away the focus from the meeting itself.
Headset & keyboard
Feel free to use a headset when you conduct video consultations. It is practical to have this one device for sound input and output, and this provides additional patient security that no one else can overhear the discussion that takes place in the consultation. If you have multiple microphones installed on your computer, for example, one for video meetings and another one for dictation, always double-check that the correct microphone is activated before the consultation.
Short headset and keyboard cords can easily turn into a source of irritation. They can prevent your natural movement patterns and perhaps force you to move away from your monitor to reach the keyboard during the video call. Cordless devices or extra long cords easily solve this problem.
3. Test internally before your first video consultation
Feel free to simulate video consultations with your colleagues before you open up to emergency meetings with patients. This enables you to check how the equipment works but also gives you valuable feedback on light, background, conversational tone, movements, and more.
4. Have a Plan B in store
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to plan out all technical troubles – sooner or later some issue will probably occur. But if you have a Plan B in store, you can avoid the panic. If you mention at the beginning of the video consultation that you are experiencing technical problems, e.g. by calling the patient or starting a chat, both you and the patient will feel more secure about the situation.
5. Use cheat sheets
Finally, it is important to know where to turn if the technology fails. The IT department should provide help and support, but they may not be available when you need assistance quickly. Hopefully, the IT staff have been proactive and have formulated simpler problems and solutions in easily accessible manuals and tutorials so you can solve most problems yourself. If no such manuals exist, it would be of great value to ask for them. 🙂
Would you like to know more about what to think about before getting started with your virtual clinic? Read our guide!