With the wide adoption of video consultations in healthcare, comes great responsibility. While a few healthcare professionals, as well as patients, may be well-versed in video consultations, for the majority they remain a novelty. This novelty may cause uncertainty in your patients but you, as a healthcare professional, can quickly alleviate that by offering a great video consultation experience. We have listed some tips and tricks to help you shape a best-in-class video consultation experience.
Patients come first
Calibrate your mental activity to focus on the patient. After all, the video consultation is about their health condition and concerns, and the trust they place in you. Actively think about how your patients see you, what is visible to them, where they contact you from. It is tempting to distract yourself with your video image or your documentation, so when you find your mind wandering, reprioritise and use this as your mantra: This is about the patient.
Set up your workstation
Place your desk in a well-lit room and against a clean and tidy background. Avoid having distractions, such as books or portraits behind you that may pull focus during the consultation. Make sure that the room is not too dark or so bright that it creates glare. What creates glare is strong lighting behind you, so try to avoid lamps or windows behind your back. Finally, put up a sign informing your surroundings that video consultations are taking place to avoid any disturbances.
Feeling shaky? We break down the tips and advice above into action points and a printable checklist in our guide: Your cheat-sheet for successful video consultations.
Sit up and maintain eye contact
Eye contact is the most important factor in building trust. In the context of a video consultation, looking at the patient in the eyes means looking straight into the camera. Try to avoid multitasking and instead focus on what your patient is saying and on looking at the camera whenever possible. Your posture is also important in conveying professionalism. Place your camera at a relative distance so that your upper body is included in the frame and avoid slouching or leaning towards the camera.
Configure the technical layers
Invest in a headset to improve sound input and output. A headset helps you minimise echo so that your patients can receive optimal sound quality, it helps you hear your patients clearly and avoid other sound distractions. A headset also ensures the patient that only you and only you can hear the conversation, securing their integrity and trust. Make sure that your internet connection is stable and try not to stretch it during a video consultation, e.g. by having too many tabs open or using it for searches.
Test, test, test!
Before you start your first video consultation with a patient, have a dry run and role-play with a colleague. Try both the patient and the healthcare professional perspective. Give your colleague a checklist of what they should pay attention to for during your test. Try to apply all the tips and advice above during your rehearsal and make sure that you use as many functions of your video consultation as possible – screen sharing, sharing files, etc. Ask your colleague for feedback: what could be improved and what hindered their experience? Did you miss anything from the checklist?
Train your inner video-consultation professional by practising the tips and advice above and in no time, video consultations will be second nature to you and your patients will have an experience they can vouch for.