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Telehealth Best Practices for Physician Integration

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a rapid expansion of telehealth services, and despite the major change, most physicians have adapted to this transition. “The one thing that we can all say we have achieved at this point is we brought the doctor's office into the home successfully,” said AMA member Joseph Kvedar, and the success of the medical community's teleheath adoption can easily be seen in the positive ways patients have responded. Yet physicians are still searching for ways to make telemedicine more effective into the future, and in a recent American Medical Association Telehealth Initiative virtual boot camp, physicians shared their ideas on how to further improve remote patient care.

Tech Basics: Making sure that the video and network connection is clear and stable is the first important step. Keeping the platform functioning smoothly can prevent users from becoming frustrated, and refusing to use it further. 

Gather Data Prior to Visit: It's important to have all the necessary information about a patient before the doctor's visit, so that things can progress quickly.  Calling beforehand or requiring a pre-visit form has become a must for effective appointments.

Backup Plan: Having the patients phone number on hand can prove useful when an internet connection is unreliable. It can also help to have multiple options for video streaming.

Virtual Visits after Hospital: A great way to integrate telehealth is by gathering updates from patients after a hospital discharge. Not requiring another trip to a doctors office can help patients transition back to living at home safely.  

The AMA has developed a Telehealth Implementation Playbook that is designed to support efficient, successful implementation of telemedicine so that physicians, care teams, patients and the broader community can experience the benefits of telehealth in practice.

Follow the link to read more ideas about successful telehealth implementation for physicians: