Clinicians are people, too, and the term “bedside manner” exists for good reason. Patients appreciate the medical expertise that clinicians impart, but they also care about the communication and empathy. As many of us have experienced, video calls are different from in-person meetings. In the same way, virtual care interactions can be devoid of that personal connection. They are more transactional in nature and there is less opportunity to allow clinicians to have their personalities shine through.
The ways in which we interact online will continue to evolve, so clinicians should evolve with it. Healthcare organizations can give clinicians simple tools to allow them to show empathy, connect with patients and make interactions more intimate. Platforms like Mmhmm allow users to add custom effects, backgrounds and animations to videos and presentations.
A higher-tech option would be equipping clinicians to share interactive content, like video, with patients in real time. For example, to help the patient understand in more detail what their treatment will involve, and steps they can take to support themselves to improve compliance and outcomes. The tools are there, it’s a matter of evolving the services and making clinicians comfortable using them.
Healthcare organizations also should consider what is the right balance of in-person and virtual. For instance, VillageMD provides care through three channels: at a clinic, virtually and in a patient’s home. Offering a blend of all three gives patients the opportunity to access personalized, consistent and connected care on their terms. The company touts a 93 average Net Promoter Score, indicating that patients are likely to recommend the service.