9 telehealth tips for clinicians

The COVID-19 pandemic forced physicians to deliver telehealth care, and while patients may appreciate the convenience of virtual care, there are challenges for physicians used to providing in-person treatment.

Here are nine telehealth tips for physicians, according to Sept. 26 reporting in MedScape:


  1. See something, say something: Physicians should not be afraid to ask patients about a painting or sports trophy in their digital background. This can be a way to increase camaraderie and allow patients to open up about sensitive medical information.
  2. Ask for an intro: Physicians should ask other people in the room, such as partners and family members, to introduce themselves. 
  3. Smile more: Smiling can lead to patients mirror a physician's smile and may improve a patient's mood.
  4. Slow down: Physicians should be careful to make sure they are speaking at an appropriate rate during a virtual visit.
  5. Read: Kyle Leggott, MD, recommends physicians read Never Split the Difference, a book by former Federal Bureau of Investigations hostage negotiator Chris Voss. 
  6. Invite patients to say no: Phrasing questions that lead to a "no" answer can help patients feel like they are making less of a commitment and help put their minds at ease.
  7. Show you're paying attention: Physicians can show patients they are engaged by repeating their last words back to them. 
  8. Make eye contact: Physicians should look into the camera to make eye contact with their patients, not the screen.
  9. Use a headset with a microphone: Microphones allow physicians to communicate more clearly and without confusion.

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