Tips for successful video appointments

Tips for successful video appointments

Telehealth visits are becoming more popular as an efficient, convenient way to connect healthcare providers with clients.  If you are just getting started offering telehealth services, here are some things to consider to help your clients get the most out of their video visits with you.

Set up your web cam slightly above eye level.

The closer you can align the camera to your focal point (the screen) the more your interaction will seem natural to the person on the other end.  Place your webcam above your monitor, not below.  If you are using a laptop, try setting it on a stack of books to get the right angle for the camera.

Minimize distractions.

Wear solid colors, as opposed to stripes and busy patterns which are distracting and can be slower to render on the screen, giving the appearance of a bad connection. Similarly, try to have a plain background without any motion such as a ceiling fan.

Practice with a friend or colleague first.

Once you get your camera and microphone in place, do a quick practice video to make sure you work through any technical difficulties before connecting with a client.  This practice call is a good time to adjust the lighting and backdrop.

Get the highest quality connection possible.

The quality of the video and audio connection is dependent on your internet signal and the processing power of your computer or device.  Here are tips to maximize both:

  1. Restart your computer or device right before your video call.
  2. Don’t open other apps or programs, which might drain computer power away from the video app.
  3. Connect your computer via ethernet cable instead of WiFi, if possible.
  4. Test your internet speed at speedtest.net.  The upload speed is the most important result, and should be higher than 2 MBPS.

Wear headphones to reduce echo.

This isn’t usually necessary, but if you or your client hear your own voice echoed back through the video call, put on headphones. Depending on your setup, moving the speakers away from the microphone can also help.

If you have any other telehealth tips or tricks,  please share in the comments section below!

Clocktree Directory is coming soon!

Make a Great First Impression on New Clients

Clocktree is excited to let you know that we are launching a service soon that helps prospective clients find and connect with you on Clocktree.

This is a huge benefit to Clocktree members, as clients will be able to find experienced telehealth providers like you, and you will gain new customers who want to meet with you online. Win-win!

ACTION NEEDED: Make sure your Clocktree profile is complete and represents your practice well. Your Clocktree profile is an important part of your web presence and will be the first thing a client sees when they find you in the Clocktree Directory.

Here are instructions for updating your Clocktree profile. The Admin on your Clocktree practice can update your practice profile.  Each provider can update their own provider profile.

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Stay tuned for more information about the Clocktree Directory, as well as tips for improving your online presence and helping your profile appear in more search results.

If you have any questions or need help updating your Clocktree profile, our customer care team is ready to help. Call (302) 990-8935 or email info@clocktree.com.

Study finds 2/3 of healthcare providers aren’t familiar with changes to telehealth reimbursement

Study finds 2/3 of healthcare providers aren’t familiar with changes to telehealth reimbursement

According to a recent survey by Reaction Data, 67% of healthcare providers surveyed weren’t aware of major changes to telehealth reimbursements laws in effect as of January 1.

On November 1, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an update to payment policies and payment rates for services provided under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) on or after January 1, 2019. The specific changes can be found here:  https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/final-policy-payment-and-quality-provisions-changes-medicare-physician-fee-schedule-calendar-year

Generally, the new rules expand reimbursement for healthcare providers using telehealth platforms (like Clocktree) for virtual care.

One of the previous barriers to using telehealth services was the lack of reimbursement to providers, so this should help boost telehealth adoption rate. However, 53% of the survey participants aren’t yet using telehealth, even with the new guidelines in place.

We’ve referenced studies in the past that show a large majority of patients (67% – 82%) are interested in telehealth services, or would be if they were available. High consumer interest coupled with the CMS guideline changes and more private payers covering virtual visits means huge potential for growth in 2019 for telehealth services.

If you are a healthcare provider who is interested in adding telehealth services to your practice, contact Clocktree Customer Care. We would love to show you how easy it is to conduct telehealth visits with your clients!

 

 

Unique Uses for Telehealth

Unique Uses for Telehealth

Most people are familiar with telehealth services offered by their primary care doctor, therapist or other healthcare provider as a convenient alternative to an in-office visit.  Telehealth has emerged as a standard, even expected, part of certain healthcare practices.

Here are a few examples from Clocktree of less obvious telehealth services that are making a difference in people’s lives and well-being.

Daily Monitoring of TB Patients

Clocktree works with a growing number of county health offices, who are tasked with monitoring tuberculosis patients to ensure they are taking their medications every day.  Before Clocktree, these patients had to physically go to the county health office each day to take their medication. With Clocktree and a mobile phone, they are now able to video record themselves taking their meds on their smartphone each day and submit the video securely through Clocktree to the county health office.  Think of the difference this has made to these patients’ lives, and the improved efficiency to the county health offices!

Physical Therapy

The adoption of telehealth services among physical therapists was a bit of a surprise to us, given the hands-on nature of the physical therapy. However once we dug deeper into these use cases, it makes sense. One physical therapist who was an early adopter of telehealth services is having success using Clocktree for consultations. He reported that often a client will receive a referral for physical therapy, but is intimidated or fearful and doesn’t follow up to get the service they need. Offering initial video consultations allows him to meet with skeptical or fearful clients to help reassure them and ease them into the physical therapy process. Speaking face to face but from the comfort of their own home gives the reassurance that some patients need to pursue treatment.

Other physical therapists use Clocktree for followup visits or to observe clients doing their exercises remotely between sessions.

Home Health Services

Home health and elder care services are using telehealth services in several ways. Among Clocktree users, the most common scenario is to connect a patient and their caregiver with a remote healthcare provider, resulting in much quicker service than if they had to see the provider in person. Our favorite stories come from home health care providers who use Clocktree to connect with a client’s remote family members so they can virtually attend their loved ones’ medical appointments, ask questions and more fully participate in their care.

If you are using telehealth services in a unique and creative way, we’d love to hear about it! Comment below, or contact us at 302-990-8935 or support@clocktree.com.