Introducing patients to telehealth
Help patients better understand what telehealth is, the benefits of virtual health care, and how to schedule a telehealth appointment.
Patients are likely to have questions about what to expect from a telehealth appointment. Here are some key topics to help them feel at ease.
- Types of care you offer through telehealth, including when it’s a good fit for telehealth and when an in-person appointment may be needed
- Options you provide for receiving virtual health care (video, phone, text, email, mobile health, remote monitoring)
- Ways a telehealth appointment may resemble or differ from an in-person appointment
- Ways you will protect their privacy and personal information (including directions to find electronic Notice of Privacy Practices)
- Cost for a telehealth appointment
- Opportunity patient has to end a session or to seek in-person care at any time
Benefits of telehealth
- Limiting physical contact reduces everyone’s exposure to COVID-19
- Visiting virtually can address health issues wherever patients are, even the comfort of home
- Staying put cuts down on commuting, travel in bad weather, time off from work, need for child care
- Using virtual health care tools can shorten wait to see a provider and expand range of access to specialists who live further away
Telehealth is not a perfect fit for every patient or medical condition. Make sure you also discuss any disadvantages or risks with your patients.
- When you offer telehealth appointments
- How to make an appointment
- What technology your patient needs
- How you can help them set up their telehealth technology
- Who else will be present at the appointment other than the patient (interpreter, caregiver, clinical or technical assistant)
For examples of common logistical questions and answers, see:
- How Patients Can Engage Telehealth — from the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers
- Telehealth Information for Patients — from the Pacific Basin Telehealth Resource Center