While it is always nice to be able to see your patients in person, that might not always be possible. Whether they are stuck at home and unavailable to come to the office or you just need to get on a quick call with them, telehealth can be a wonderful tool that can help you share needed exercises or help them recover from an injury.
Just because you can’t see them in person doesn’t mean you can’t help them.
Here are some ways to make your telehealth appointments successful for both you and your patients.
Make sure you’re in a comforting environment
While we can’t all be at the office nowadays, that doesn’t mean you can’t put some effort into setting up your physical therapy telehealth practice. Think about investing in a desk or a consistent spot where you can “meet” with your patients.
This can be extremely helpful when you want to create a sense of normalcy and help them to feel as though you are taking this appointment seriously. You don’t want your patients to feel neglected by the fact that you can’t visit them in person.
Know how your systems will work
How will your patients be able to connect with you? Will you be using a platform where they have to login and create an account?
Or will you conduct your appointment over a video conferencing platform like Zoom or Skype?
It can take time to find the right platform for you to host your telehealth sessions on and one that makes sense for your patients as well. If you do require a login, make sure you give your patients instructions well in advance so they can come to your appointment confident.
Have a plan for technical issues
Even the best-laid telehealth plans sometimes fail, and it can be impossible to account for all that might go wrong when it comes to your appointment.
You might want to perform a few test runs (even with friends and family) so you can make sure you have everything installed properly so you’re less likely to run into some hiccups while you’re in the middle of your session.
You should also make sure to have a process for rescheduling calls in case something goes wrong, and how long you should make the effort to try and fix technical issues if they crop up.
Make sure you schedule follow-ups
Even though you might both be meeting virtually, you want to make sure that you put in the effort when it comes to letting your patients know you are available for any questions and that you would like to see them again.
Consistency is the most important part running any business, let alone one where you need to develop trust. Make sure that you are available for your patients and that they can contact you outside your platform too.
While it might not be exactly the same as meeting in person, you can still create a relationship with patients through telehealth and help them to feel better even outside the office.