Good bedside manner can help set you apart as a physician. Not only does it foster a better doctor-patient relationship, but it can also go a long way in the process of healing for the patient. A quality doctor-patient relationship establishes trust which makes it more likely for a patient to follow the treatment plan and the provider’s recommendations.
When it comes to telemedicine, traditional bedside manner is still an important part of care even though doctors and patients are physically separated by hundreds of miles. The good news is bedside (or “webside”) manner is a skill set any provider can develop with practice. Start with these tips to master bedside manner in telemedicine:
Be Present During Appointments
Telepsychiatry opens up a whole new world of convenience and access for patient care. If you’re a physician providing virtual care from your home, it’s important to remain present and focused. Give the patient your undivided attention just as you would in the office. Be thorough and explain what you are doing. For example, if you have to get up to grab a chart, tell the patient so she doesn’t translate your behavior as rude.
Part of remaining present and focused during appointments means eliminating potential distractions. Keep a clean space that won’t interfere with visual focus and eye contact. Consider any possible background noises that might cause distractions. Show your focus and dedication by engaging through eye contact as much as possible during the appointment.
Be Comfortable With Technology
As a telemedicine provider, it’s essential to be comfortable with the technology you use. At T-Psychiatry, we ensure quality care by using HIPAA-compliant video teleconferencing technology or our client’s existing video conferencing software. There are so many benefits to providing care through live and interactive video conferencing, but be sure you are confident with the technology before jumping in.
In the end, good “webside” manner leads to happier and healthier patients. As a provider, you can create a positive patient experience in telemedicine when you make bedside manner a priority no matter the distance.