The more prepared clinical staff are for delivering virtual care to their patients, the better outcomes are for all parties involved. Interactions perceived as strained or cold over virtual platforms can solidify negative beliefs patients hold about receiving care online, which promotes resisting virtual appointments or changing to a new provider. On the other hand, positive interactions in telehealth platforms hold the possibilities of sought-after physicians working at multiple locations simultaneously, as well as reducing waiting times due to removing commutes between building-to-building and room-to-room.
It is recommended that healthcare staff be provided with online training modules that teaches them how to:
Deliver telehealth, and
Navigate legal and regulatory parameters that exist in tele-healthcare.
With modules in place that covered both recommendations, Dr. Judd Hollander, the associate dean for strategic health initiatives at Thomas Jefferson’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College was able to scale up virtual health care to meet the steep increase in virtual care during the COVID-19 pandmeic. This was done while not sacrificing quality of care, leaving patients with positive and enduring outcomes.
Virtual health care delivery methods will not necessarily be optional or extracurricular forever. As telehealth continues to solidify itself as an avenue for healthcare delivery, there is a growing emphasis on the importance of telehealth competency for practitioners.