Written by Merendi Leverett on March 4th 2022
Life has been drastically changed because of the virus. You may be wondering how you can carry on working in the health service with all these restrictions.
I’m Merendi Leverett and I’ve been working as a health practitioner for twenty years. I am now helping people to set up Telehealth so that they can still be in an industry that they love.
You can set up Telehealth in less than a day. This gives patients a choice on how they get seen. Either face to face or over the telephone.
My Health For Life program in Queensland, Australia and Joint Movement by Arthritis Qld are just two examples that I have been involved in that has helped work with patients who are living regional or remote.
There are many platforms to use for Telehealth. If you use Zoom for consults over 45 min it’s $20 a month. Other providers are Skype, Facebook and Physitrack. With Physitrack you do need to pay a monthly subscription. They can connect you via Messenger and video. Another option is WhatsApp. Some Case manager programs may have telehealth as an option too.
You need to look at your equipment you will be using – your phone, tablet or computer? I use my laptop but I find the camera on that isn’t clear enough. I bought a Logitech camera. It cost about $200 AUS but the quality is much clearer for when I’m doing consultations. As it’s a piece of equipment you can claim this in your end of year tax return. Another piece of equipment is a microphone. It allows you to speak clearly without interference on the call. You will need headphones – you can use ear buds or bigger headphones. I use the bigger ones as I record podcasts and they also help with cancelling out noise.
Then you need to look at how you invite patients to your Telehealth service. This will involve you sending a link. You can do this direct from the provider or you can use calendly or acuity schedulers. A lot of them have integrations with an online teleconferencing service. This is an excellent service for your patients as they are sent the link and can book their appointment online. You can also send them an email with the link attached for them to book the appointment. If you use Outlook you can integrate Telehealth with this too.
You need to educate your patients how to connect with this service. Create a “How To” video and link this with your Facebook page and Facebook group, website. You can also add the video to appointment confirmations. Send it out with enough time for them to look at it and see what they have to do. You can also create a handout. If clients aren’t tech savvy arrange a time to help them with this. Always tell clients to log in five or ten minutes before their appointment to make sure the connection is working properly. If you use Zoom you can create a waiting room. With Zoom you can have multiple clinicians working on this platform. When the patients are in the waiting room you can welcome them and find out which clinician they are waiting for. This is something you would need to set up at the start of the day.
When it comes to forms most people are moving to online forms. Case Manager programs will allow you to create forms which enable your patients to fill this out prior to their appointment. The beauty of this being done online is you are sent a notification when they have done it. This is a great way of getting their details or questionnaires they need to complete. It’s also good for pre exercise health screens. This will help you save a lot of time if they had to do this manually. Case Manager programs allow you to create forms, Halexy and Core Plus. There are also other providers such as google forms, Docusign and Jotform. Having these forms before the call allows you to know what will need to be discussed at the appointment.
To get client measurements what I do with the My Health for Life program is send an info sheet showing clients how to take measurements such as weight and waist. A lot of people have blood pressure monitors and heart rate monitors. If they don’t have this ask them to go to their GP or Community Health Center or Pharmacy where they can do this for them. You can look at range of movement on video. If they’re on their phone get them to move their phone around. I’ve done ergonomic health assessments via Telehealth consults too.
You can run group education, webinars and training via Telehealth. The best thing is to not stress about it and instead get creative with the platform.
I hope you found this blog post helpful. For more information and support join my Authentic Healthprenuers Facebook group (add the link). I am constantly providing help on how to create a health practice you are proud of. Thanks for reading this article and feel free to share it. You can also find me at my social media handles at the bottom of this page.