Friday, March 5, 2021


Video Conference Tips For Healthcare Professionals.

(Akiit.com) Telemedicine has been used well before health care providers everywhere have rapidly traded in-person patient visits to virtual appointments. Meeting with patients online is an excellent alternative, especially with the current events of COVID-19. Doctors, clinics and patients can use devices like two-way video, email smartphones or wireless communication to exchange information.

There are plenty of benefits to implementing telemedicine into your practice. Not only will you be more accessible to your patients, but you also do not have to worry about putting their health in jeopardy by paying your office a visit. Physicians and patients all over the world are utilizing video conferencing technology for face-to-face interaction, sharing video clips or later review as well as forwarding diagnostic images.

You could also use video conferencing software to improve your ability to educate your patients, allow for more effective critical care, and making mental health more available for those who are not able to go into a doctor’s office.

Video conferences are also perfect to meet up with colleagues to discuss topics that are too lengthy for typical phone conferences. No matter why you are using telemedicine and virtual visits, you should always present yourself professionally. If you are looking for ways to put your best foot forward, here are some of the best video conferencing tips for healthcare professionals.

Get Your Recording Space Set-Up

Before you hop on a video conference, make sure there is not anything too distracting in the background. You want to make sure the focus is solely on you when you are meeting with patients, clients or colleagues. The goal is to have a clean space to take your video call. Make sure that you do not have anything offensive or vulgar in view of the camera. It is recommended that you go to an area in your home or apartment that is distraction-free

If you have children or finding a spot in your place that is not distracting is impossible, consider putting up a virtual background. This function is only available on certain video conferencing software, so you would need to play around with it well before your call. You can choose any photo you like. A lot of people put up pictures of serene landscapes. You could even look up stock pictures of a doctor’s office. Get creative and try not to take yourself so seriously. Just make sure that whatever picture you choose, it is appropriate.

Make Sure You Are Well-Lit

There is nothing worse than being on a video conference with someone and you cannot see their face. When doing video conferences, having the right lighting is imperative. It can make or break your virtual meeting. If you are working with a window in your room, make sure that you are sitting in a way that allows the sun to shine on your face. Avoid sitting with your back to the light because it will wash you out. You will be a talking silhouette and that is not professional.

If you are in a room without a window or very little natural light, do not worry. You can still be well-lit on the video. All you need to do is stay away from harsh shadows that block part of your face. You can do this by adding a second small light, maybe a desk lamp, that will fill in those shadows as you talk on the video conference.

Check Your Sound

Another huge factor in a professional video conference is whether or not your participants can hear you without any interruptions. It is recommended that you use a headset or earphones that come equipped with a microphone. This ensures that you are receiving and giving the best quality sound. There are no worries if you lose your headphones right before your video call. If that is the case, make sure you are in a quiet room that will not echo when you speak. You want to get these things in place before your call starts.

It is highly recommended that you mute your microphone unless you are the one talking. Once you get into your virtual meeting, it may not come as instinct, but doing this is really important as your microphone is sensitive. They can pick up on every small breath you make and the car alarm going off down the street. You do not want to be the cause of distraction. Oftentimes when the background noise is too much, it will make it hard for everyone else in the video conference to hear the person talking.

Get Your Angles Situated

Where you put your screen is crucial. You do not want the camera to be too close, but you also do not want it to be too far. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you are center on the screen and are at eye level. If you are still unsure of what to do, just position your head in a way so that it is about an inch from the top of the screen. Doing this will really give that in-person feel. It will also cut down on distraction.

Test Your Hardware Before Your Meeting

Technical difficulties happen, but you can reduce your chances of that happening by giving your hardware a good test run before starting your video conference. Make sure that your microphone, speakers and headphones work. Ensure that you have an excellent internet connection by doing a quick internet speed test. There are tons of them online that you can use for free. There is nothing worse than being on a video conference call and only being able to hear every other word from the host.

Dress To Impress

The joy of video conferences is that you can handle business from the comfort of your home. This does not mean you can wear whatever you want. You want to make sure that you are putting your best foot forward and are looking your professional best. You do not have to wear a three-piece suit on your virtual visit, but make sure that your dress code is appropriate to who you are talking to.

If you are having trouble trying to decide what you should wear, think about what you would wear if this meeting was in person. Once you determine that, try that outfit out, at least from the waist up, and you will be good to go. Make sure that you are adhering to your company’s dress code if you are meeting with colleagues or clients. If you are meeting with patients, you could potentially be more relaxed. As long as you are not wearing something too revealing or with vulgar language, you will be fine.

Keep Your Audience Engaged

Remember that you could be potentially meeting a patient for the first time. Introduce yourself and remember to include your affiliation or title. This helps you gain the trust of those you are speaking to. Avoid rushing your speech. Take your time, speaking slowly and clearly that way everyone can understand you.

It can be strange staring into the lens of the camera on your laptop or desktop but it is ok to do it from time to time. Make sure that you glance away a few times so you are not freaking out your patients, clients or colleagues. The idea is to simulate the natural scenario of looking into someone’s eyes when you are speaking to them. Avoid moving around too much, fidgeting or shaking the camera while you are talking. This is very distracting. 

You should also be very communicative with your patients. Some physicians choose to have two screens up while video chatting with a patient because it allows them to quickly pull up their patient’s chart or take notes. Be sure to tell your patients why your eyes are diverted. You do not want to give off the impression that you are distracted or not listening to their health concerns.

In the same line of being very communicative, you should also disclose when someone else is in the room. That way they can pick and choose which information to share at that time. For HIPPA laws and privacy, this is very important.

Remember to explain complicated concepts in a simple way that is easy to understand when speaking with your patients. Leave the jargon for your video conference with your colleagues when you are presenting a discovery or new technology.

Just because you are speaking with someone virtually does not mean you have to act any differently than you normally would if you were in-person. Speak in a conversational tone. If speaking in front of a camera gives you a little anxiety, pretend that you are talking to a good friend. This can help calm your nerves.

These are a few tips to follow that will be sure you put your best foot forward during these interesting times. Telemedicine has been here before the pandemic and its use will only continue to grow after.

Staff Writer; Roy Brown


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