When working as a telemedicine provider, you often have to change a few things in your exam room to create the perfect virtual exam room. While proper lighting and what not to wear on camera are great places to start, there are many more tips and tricks you’ll need to make your dive into telemedicine a success. We have compiled a list of five different types of equipment you’ll need to help provide your remote patients with the best care possible.
1. A Good Quality Webcam
While a webcam is not technically considered telemedicine equipment, excellent video quality that comes with a good webcam can make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful virtual visit. Not only does a high-quality video present a professional image to patients, but it helps to ensure a more accurate assessment of the patient and ensure clear communication. For those facilities that have multiple telemedicine rooms, a higher-end consumer-grade webcam may be expensive but is an overall worth-it expense. Not all telemedicine consultations require such high-quality video, but those that do can benefit from a good webcam, such as a dermatologist.
2. Reliable High-Speed Internet
Once you’ve chosen your webcam, it’s time to check on your internet connectivity. Internet speed and bandwidth are crucial to both delivering data to and receiving data from patients. To ensure that your internet is both reliable and capable of supporting telemedicine, check with your service provider and see if they can provide you with the bandwidth you’ll need. Your internet provider should be able to configure your network correctly, so it works best with the ‘two-way’ traffic that telemedicine calls require. The influx of uploading and downloading that is necessary when video conferencing requires a sufficient network to support it. Your internet provider should be able to give you solutions that will help you to maintain a higher level of network reliability without spending enormous amounts of money on networking equipment and services.
3. Digital Medical Scopes and Other Accessories
Digital stethoscopes are the functional, high-tech tool that telemedicine has been waiting for. The digital stethoscope works by using the microphone on the patient’s device to capture and stream audio files to the provider. This requires very little from the provider except for a pair of high-quality, over the ear headphones, and allows them to analyze the audio data in real-time. If providers and their facilities wish to keep these audio files for future study or reference, they may want to consider investing in a HIPAA-compliant network file storage system.
Tablets are the perfect tool for any healthcare facility to invest money in. They are incredibly versatile, which makes it easier to adapt to any practice with just the download of an app or hardware purchase. Providers can use the tablet as an advanced clipboard, allowing them to take detailed notes that are transferred efficiently to an electronic health record system. Many digital health accessories, such as the digital stethoscope, have apps that allow medical providers to transmit, store, and then analyze their patients’ data. While a tablet can’t take the place of a PC, it can be a vital tool in the workplace.
5. Visual Aids
Just as visual aids are used in an in-person visit, they can also have the same use in a telemedicine visit. Common aids such as pain scales, portion size guides, can help ensure that telemedicine visits run smoothly, efficiently, and quickly. For visual aids to be useful in telemedicine, they need to be large and clear enough to see in a video chat window or be shared through a digital screen-share in their digital form. These familiar aids can help to act as reminders that telemedicine, while it may be new, can be just as useful as a traditional appointment.
Are you considering Telemedicine? Contact a team member at MedCare Staffing today and let’s start the conversation.
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