As we all batten down the hatches and prepare for another stretch behind closed doors, we thought it would be a great time to provide you with some advice on how to prepare your clients for online treatment sessions, giving both you and your clients the confidence to continue to practice safely using PPS’ telehealth tools where possible.
What to expect
Although we’ve all been muddling through for almost a year now, we still often get feedback from our clients that some of their patients are hesitant when it comes to online treatment sessions. When speaking to those who have gone full steam ahead with telehealth and are loving it, we gathered some great tips on how to put your clients at ease when it comes to connecting online.
What will the session involve?
Make sure your clients know exactly what is involved in an online consultation. If possible, prior to treatment, provide clear information about how you will connect via telehealth.
Key information might include:
- What type of devices can be used
- Audio and visual requirements
- Security information
Think about the typical concerns raised by your own clients and try to address these in your patient resources or on your website.
How will this differ from a face to face appointment?
Your clients are used to coming to your practice, being greeted with a warm welcome, and then entering into an engaging and interactive treatment session. None of this needs to be compromised when opting for an online session instead.
Things to highlight for your patients:
- How you will start the session
- What you will cover
- How you will carry out any assessments
- What is expected of them
Giving your clients a brief rundown of how a typical online session usually works can help to put things into perspective. Think of how you usually conduct your treatment sessions in clinic and note down the steps and think about which aspects are mirrored online and which may differ, you can then provide this information to patients prior to treatment in their booking confirmation.
Why online treatment is still important
For those who would rather wait for a face to face appointment, it may be worth explaining how you intend to use the online session and why this will be effective in the course of their treatment.
Be sure to cover the key aspects of treatment that are still achievable via online consultations. This might include:
- Listening – a vital tool in understanding how the client is progressing
- Observing – conducting a live video session allows the practitioner to see how the client is progressing
- Assessment – based on the above, practitioners can make an assessment and decide on the next course of action with the client
- Follow-up plan – the practitioner is able to easily communicate the next steps of treatment either verbally or by sharing helpful documents or resources via the chat features
One of the key things to remember here is that the future is uncertain and waiting for this to ‘blow over’ before resuming treatment may have a detrimental impact on your client’s treatment in the long run.
Booking an appointment
Make sure it’s nice and easy for your clients to book their online session by ensuring they are equipped with all of the information that they need.
How to book
Whether you have chosen to continue to take telephone bookings, have switched to an online booking system, or a bit of both don’t forget to give your clients vital information such as:
- A direct link to your website/online booking page
- Reception opening hours
- Key contact numbers/email addresses
For many of your clients, it may be the first time that they are accessing your services online. Confirmation emails are a great way of providing your client with all of the information they will need prior to their treatment.
You might want to include:
- How to prepare
- How to access the session
- When to connect
- Advice on the ideal environment for the treatment session, e.g. a well-lit, quiet room.
We’ve put together a basic example of the type of information you might want to put together to help guide your clients.
Connecting to the session
When to log in
Make sure you let your client know when you would like them to log in. Most of our practitioners advise their clients to join at least 5 minutes prior to their session. This ensures that there is time to resolve any issues and that your client will be ready to begin their session at the allotted time slot.
It’s expected that some clients may have issues connecting to their online treatment session. Disruption can easily be minimised by providing your clients with a few troubleshooting steps to take including:
- Outlining any requirements for their devices
- Advising what to check prior to the session e.g. strong internet connection, working audio and visual tools
- Who to contact and how if they are having issues
Missed online consultations are still just as inconvenient as no shows or last-minute cancellations.
Ensure that your client is able to reach you should they be experiencing any last-minute issues which could prevent them from attending their online consultation. This may mean providing a direct telephone number rather than the usual clinic/reception line to avoid delays in communication.
If you need any further help or advice, don’t forget that our support team are on hand to guide you. Contact PPS Support on firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have lots of help guides and videos on our knowledgebase: ppssupport.com