There are many ways to ensure a successful synchronous telemedicine/virtual visit, and it is best to identify methods that will work with the virtual platform and staff available for your practice. Some common strategies of readying patients for the telemedicine visit include:
Many virtual platforms and some electronic medical records can send electronic links (often customizable) for the patient and provider to connect to the virtual encounter. Links may be autogenerated at the time of scheduling, often embedded in emails or one-way texts sent to the patient and/or provider. For patient and provider convenience, links may also be sent on the day of the visit at, or prior to, the time of check-in. Support staff (clerical staff, medical assistant, or nurse) may be able to log in to the virtual platform first, for a “face-to-face” check-in in preparation for the visit with the provider. During this virtual rooming, the support staff may
- Confirm patient location.
- Ensure consent for virtual visit was obtained within the past year or consent the patient at the time of the visit.
- Complete other portions of the usual check-in process, such as questionnaires, etc.
If virtual rooming is not available in the platform used, then staff (medical assistant, nurse, or clerical staff, as appropriate) may call patients the day of the visit to:
- Verify time of visit.
- Instruct patient/caregiver on use of the virtual technology. Many providers’ offices have found it beneficial to perform a “test run” on how to log into the platform in advance of the visit.
- Complete intake/questionnaires.
- Confirm if consent was obtained at the time of scheduling. If not, it may need to be obtained by the provider at the start of the virtual encounter.