Skills required for healthcare professionals for teleconsultation

The rapid spreading nature of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has made it difficult to visit our healthcare providers. Stepping out of our homes brings with it the fear of contracting the deadly virus and it is especially prominent when we have to go to the hospital and consult a doctor. This fear goes both ways as many healthcare professionals are also wary about meeting patients. Hence, many doctors and healthcare professionals have turned to telemedicine and teleconsultation platforms in order to meet their patients.

Many healthcare facilities are focused on dealing with coronavirus patients, treatments for other health issues such as chronic illnesses are less attended to. Telehealth technologies allow medical professionals to make sure that such patients are given the best and required medical care especially during the time of the pandemic. The demand for telehealth technology will continue to increase with the advancement of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Interactive Virtual Assistants, and telehealth robots.

The rise of telemedicine and telecommunications brings with it a host of new jobs in this industry. Here are some of the skills required to do better in the field: 

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  1. Good communication skills: Patients need to feel that they are still being heard whether it be in-person or virtually. Having a good bedside manner as a doctor or nurse is just as important virtually as it is physically – known as “webside” or “screenside” manners. It is necessary for a healthcare professional to clearly communicate the treatment plans and understand the various symptoms of the patients. 
  2. Empathy: Emotional Intelligence is always primary over learned knowledge. Having empathy will enable a doctor to understand how difficult the current circumstances are for the patient and their families. It will also allow healthcare professionals to provide help and relief to distraught patients. Teleconsultation visits are limited so it is important to establish a good rapport with the patients in a short span of time. People tend to look down at the screen during video calls, so that translates to someone on the other side as not maintaining eye contact. The clinician needs to be trained to listen and look into the camera because that’s what’s going to appear on the screen for the patient as though the provider is looking at the patient.
  3. Resilience: Priorities change from time to time and it is important to have employees who are able to adapt to these changes. It is important to have people with resilient and strong mindsets who won’t waver from their beliefs and can recover from bad situations. 
  4. Adaptability and Flexibility: The technology and the software of the telehealth platforms keep changing and many healthcare professionals should be able to adapt to that. They can take up online CME (Continued Medical Education) and telemedicine courses for such courses were limited in the early stages of their career. These courses will enable the practitioners to understand and learn the various required technologies thus preparing them to adjust to any kind of changes. Many hospitals, universities and healthcare firms offer online training programmes in telehealth so that doctors and nurses can get familiar with the practice and software. 

Bengaluru-based MedPiper Technologies connects doctors by providing them with a network to participate in forums and discussion topics. MedPiper’s automating tools are easy to use and are necessary for the healthcare industry by eliminating the waste of man-hours. This platform also enables continuous learning by connecting doctors to courses of their choice. MedPiper’s Resume Builder tool also enables many healthcare professionals and doctors to create their resumes with ease. 

Technological advancements have helped to improve telemedicine by leaps and bounds. Telemedicine has reduced the strain on healthcare, especially during the pandemic by offering teleconsultation services and e-pharmacy solutions. It has improved both patient care and enabled efficient usage of hospital services. Telemedicine has become a radical way of approaching healthcare and many lives can be saved in conditions as drastic as the pandemic.

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