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Practice Workflow Recommendations
Involve the practice team in decisions regarding patient care and workflow changes.
Topics to consider include:
- What telehealth modalities will be offered by your practice.
- How to get the word out about the practice’s Telehealth offerings – practice website, patient portal etc.
- What are the optimal types of visits for Video or Telephone care versus in-person.
- Consider how practice hours, scheduling processes and templates may need to change.
- Understand what documentation, coding and billing changes are needed.
Create Patient Resources for Telehealth
- Informed Consent for Telehealth: Although it is not always required, it is important that patients understand the risks and benefits of using telehealth. AHRQ has a simple, customizable consent form and how-to guidance for clinicians on how to explain telehealth. Document verbal consent prior to each telehealth visit until you can receive a signed consent (either digitally or on paper) from the patient.
- Remind patients of advantages such as convenience and their safety related to physical distancing.
- Reassure patients that care can be switched to other modalities, including in-person visits, if needed.
- Create a short “How to log on for your Video Visit” guide for patients.
- Train one or two practice staff to provide tech support to patients.
- Consider how to seek and incorporate patient feedback about their Telehealth experience
Triage Inbound Calls
Establish guidelines for directing patients to a telehealth visit. In general, Video Visits work best if in-depth physical examinations or procedures are not required. They are also great for triaging patients with communicable disease symptoms and monitoring chronic conditions. OfferTelephone Visits for patients unable to or unwilling to try Video Visits.
- When patients call in for appointments, have practice staff offer Video Visits or Telephone Visits when appropriate.
- Encourage patients to check with their insurers that the Telehealth visit will be covered.
- Encourage staff to confer with physician when in doubt about appropriateness of Video or Telephone visits.
Be Proactive about Expanding Telehealth
- Review visits scheduled in the next 3 months and determine which can be offered via Video or Telephone Visits.
- Ask practice staff to reach out to patients and offer this alternative option. Encourage patients to check with their insurers that the Telehealth visit will be covered.
- Look through your patient panel for those with chronic medical conditions and identify those who might benefit from remote patient monitoring. Reach out to patients to offer this longitudinal care option. Encourage patients to check with their insurance payers that this care will be covered.