If you’re a dentist considering offering virtual patient visits, you’re not alone. There has been a growing trend of healthcare providers offering this type of care in recent years. And for a good reason – virtual visits provide several advantages for patients and providers.
For patients, virtual visits offer the convenience of seeing their dentist from the comfort of their homes. They also eliminate the need to take time off from work or school for appointments. And for providers, virtual visits can help to increase access to care and improve efficiency in the practice.
So how do you set up and conduct a successful virtual patient visit? Here’s everything you need to know:
Choose the right platform
There are several different platforms that you can use for virtual visits. When choosing a platform, you and your patients must consider your patients’ needs. Some things to keep in mind include whether the platform is easy to use, offers features specific to dental care, and is compatible with your existing dental software.
Schedule a test visit
Before you start conducting virtual visits with your patients, scheduling a test visit with someone in your office is a good idea. This will help you understand how the platform works and ensure everything is set up correctly.
Use dental practice analytics
One of the key benefits of dental practice analytics is that it can help you to identify which patients would be good candidates for virtual visits. By analyzing your patient data, you can see which patients are most likely to benefit from this type of care. This can help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your dental practice.
Set up your equipment
Once you’ve chosen a platform, it’s time to set up your equipment. You’ll need a computer or laptop with a webcam, microphone, and internet connection. If you plan on using dental software during the visit, test it out ahead of time to ensure that it’s compatible with the platform you’re using.
Set up a testing appointment
Before you offer virtual visits to your patients, setting up a testing appointment with a staff member or trusted friend is a good idea. This will help you identify potential technical issues and ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Prepare for the visit
Just like with in-person visits, you’ll need to gather information from your patients before their virtual visit. Be sure to have them fill out any necessary paperwork beforehand so you can have it ready when they log in for their appointment. You should also prepare a list of questions you’d like to ask during the visit.
Conduct the visit
When it’s time for the virtual visit, log in to the platform and follow the prompts to connect with your patient. Once connected, you can begin the exam just as you would in an in-person visit. Take advantage of the platform’s features, such as sharing photos or videos, to provide the best possible care for your patients.
Make sure you have the right technology in place
In order to offer virtual patient visits, you’ll need a secure internet connection and dental software that supports this type of care. Luckily, many dental online scheduling software options offer this capability.
Before the visit:
Choose the right platform
Many different video conferencing platforms are available, so choosing one that will work best for you and your patients is essential. Consider factors such as ease of use, security, and cost when deciding.
Send a test link
Once you’ve chosen a platform, send a test link to a few patients to ensure they can connect without issues. This will help avoid any last-minute glitches on the day of the visit.
Prepare your materials
Gather all the materials you’ll need for a visit, such as patient files, X-rays, and treatment plans. Having everything in one place will help the holiday run smoothly.
During the visit:
Make sure everyone can see and hear each other
This may seem like a no-brainer, but ensuring everyone can see and hear each other clearly before starting the visit is essential. If there are any issues, try moving to a different location or adjusting your computer’s audio and video settings.
Start with small talk
Like an in-person visit, start with some small talk to put your patients at ease. Ask them how they’ve been and catch up on any news before getting into the specifics of the visit.
Conduct the examination
Once ready to start the examination, have your patient describe any symptoms they’re experiencing. Then, proceed with the exam as you would normally, using verbal cues to guide your patient through each step.
Wrap up the visit
Thank your patient for their time and tell them when to expect a follow-up visit or call. If you are prescribed any medication, be sure to go over the instructions carefully. I suggest providing some educational materials for them to read after the visit.
After the visit:
Follow up with your patients
After the visit, follow up with them to see how they’re doing. This is an excellent time to answer any questions and provide additional resources.
Evaluate the visit
Take some time to reflect on the visit and evaluate what went well and what could be improved. Make adjustments to your process as needed and continue providing quality care for your patients.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your virtual patient visits are successful and convenient for you and your patients. With the proper preparation, you can provide quality care and build strong relationships with your patients, even from a distance.