So, you have taken the next step and integrated one of the most revolutionary patient engagement tools into your practice, telehealth. You have heard of what it can do for your patients. It offers them a convenient alternative to the traditional office visit, it diminishes primary care physician (PCP) deserts and fosters accessibility within your practice to help them stay more involved. You are offering a new list of telehealth services such as geo-based pharmacy recommendations, video conferencing, secure messaging, and text updates/reminders. You are now offering telehealth to your patients who need it, but how do you get them to understand what it is? Better yet, how do you get your patients to use the services you are now offering them? Here are some tips on getting your patient on board with using the new telehealth services at your practice.
Launching Telehealth to Your Patients
1) Get the Word Out
Remind your patients whenever possible that you are now offering telehealth and that it has the ability to make a huge difference in their busy lives. Assign your front office staff the task of reminding your patients every time they come in and out of the office that they now have access to this new set of services that were not previously available to them. This step is important in the process because patients need to be made aware every time something new is added to the practice or else they might not ever find out about it.
2) Offer Educational Material
While it is important to make your patients aware of the new telehealth services, it is equally important to educate them on what exactly those services are. Make time during the visit, during check-in, during check-out, and through phone calls to let patients know about new services and explain what telehealth is. During this time, the patient can learn in more detail about telehealth and why it is important to them. It is also crucial that providers offer some sort of educational reading that patients can refer to. While some patients might appreciate the audible education, others prefer to read about new services and will better understand them this way.
3) Display Telehealth Materials
Every day there are patients coming in and out of the office who are spending time in the waiting room or in a patient room anticipating a visit from their physician. During this time they are looking around at what is on the walls and what is available to read. Providers should have educational telehealth graphics displayed around the office to catch the eye of patients coming in and out throughout the day. This will catch the attention of the patient who has just driven out of their way to come into the office or had to deal with the wait times that are inevitable. Now they know that telehealth combats wait times by keeping the patient at home and allowing them to log on and visit with their physician from their computer, keeping them out of the office.
4) Email and Text Communication
The same way we remind our patients about upcoming appointments and tests, providers should remind their patients of their new telehealth services. Through email and text communication, providers can send a short and to the point message reminding patients to learn more about the simplified and convenient telehealth technology now offered at the practice.
Once patients realize what telehealth is and how it can impact their medical care, there will be no issue getting them on board with using the services. The key is getting the word out that your practice now offers these services. Help your patients learn that telehealth has the ability to bring healthcare to them.
Interested in finding out more about telehealth? Contact our team for a free demo of how it works.