Conducting virtual sessions is a great way to meet clients in a way that can offer both flexibility and great results. It’s important however to set both yourself and your client up for success during your telehealth session by doing some preparation beforehand.
Clients may be unfamiliar with meeting in a virtual setting and need time and guidance to become comfortable with video sessions. You will have better results if you are able to create a comfortable environment without any technical difficulties along the way.
Here are three areas for consideration when preparing for your telehealth session:
Set Client Expectations
What can you do beforehand for the client to ensure the telehealth session runs smoothly on their end? Firstly, you’ll want to ensure you set clear expectations for how the session will run and what they can anticipate. This will ensure they feel comfortable and mitigate nervousness or misaligned expectations.
There are a number of things to consider sharing with your clients beforehand to help set expectations:
- Duration of session
- What your session will be focusing on
- Your own scope of practice as a reminder, if relevant
- Follow up for additional questions that you didn’t have time to address
- Your estimated turnaround time for any deliverables following the session
Prior to the telehealth session, this may also be a great time to mention HIPPA compliance. Being familiar with the privacy and confidentiality of the Telehealth feature aspect may help them know they can feel comfortable sharing personal and sensitive information without worry.
With all this information, you may want to consider creating a guide, resource of frequently asked questions PDF to share ahead of time with all of this information included. This is a great method to share any tech requirements, things to know before the session as well as what to expect during and after a session, and the pdf can be easily shared within the documents folder of a client record.
Setting Yourself up for Success
Even as a seasoned practitioner, it can be helpful to take a few steps to prepare yourself for telehealth sessions. This will ensure that you know how to manage clients who aren’t as comfortable being on camera, while also monitoring time restraints and maintaining a flow of conversation with ease.
Consider preparing yourself with the following to set yourself up for successful telehealth meetings:
Have conversation and question prompts on hand for if the conversation hits a lull or, you want to ensure you are remembering to capture key information with each client.
Ask open-ended questions to inspire the client to give more contextual and beneficial information. If you do need to ask a yes or no question, you can have them expand on their yes or no by saying “tell me more about that” to encourage the client to better explain their answer and provide the insight you need as a practitioner.
Come up with extra pre-planned icebreakers to ease into the conversation and help clients feel more comfortable. Icebreakers could be included as a part of a note template used during telehealth calls to rely on if needed.
Similarly, you may also want to include prompts of questions to wrap up the session. These questions will help you maintain your time boundaries and not go overtime for the session, ensuring the rest of your day runs smoothly.
Getting the Tech Set-Up
The tech piece is an important aspect to address beforehand with both yourself and your client as this is where something can occur that can potentially trip up you or your client. There are a few key steps you can both take ahead of your telehealth session from a tech perspective to ensure it runs smoothly:
Check Your Browser: Ensure you are using the latest version of Google Chrome, Apple Safari or Mozilla Firefox.
Make sure you test your audio and video: You will want to ensure both you and the client have granted permission for Practice Better to use your camera and microphone.
Check that you have a stable internet connection: Consider sharing a test internet speed or connection link, such as this one, with the client, and also test your own connection in advance.
Understand tech from the client side: Test as if you’re the client so you’re familiar with the process and will be able to talk them through what they need to do (starting the session, muting, volume, etc.) to help mitigate user error that can lead to technical issues and an unsuccessful session.
Implement in Practice Better
As we’ve shared above, prepping for your telehealth sessions can help mitigate the risk of issues that could arise during a video call and be beneficial for you and your clients.
In Practice Better, you can use different features to help ensure you are ready to successfully conduct video calls with your clients.
Clients may need reminders to help ensure they are ready for their upcoming session. Consider what you need from the client, such as forms or journals to be completed and set tasks with due dates accordingly to ensure you receive what you need in advance of the telehealth session.
Our Note Template feature allows you to include question prompts and structure for your sessions to ensure you receive consistent information and keep the conversation flowing.
You can share PDF resources that outline all that you want the client to know in advance of their telehealth session with you by utilizing the document section of their client record. Create a PDF with the information you’d like them to review and upload it for their reference. You may want to set a client task as an accountability strategy to ensure clients have taken the time beforehand to read through the information.
Snippets are a great way to manage repetitive work within the Practice Better platform. If you find you are prepping the client with the same information before meeting over video, you may want to save the copy as a snippet where you can easily reuse the same body of text anywhere within the platform. Consider adding snippets about reviewing their PDF on prepping for a telehealth session, a reminder to test their tech before the meeting, or even to remind them of the subject you will be discussing and the duration of the appointment.
Better Business Conversations
Each month, our Business Success Coaches, host an interactive BBC YouTube Live, bridging together expert advice and Practice Better technology. Take a moment to watch the session below where they discuss ‘Prepping For Your Telehealth Session!’
Video Duration: Approx. 25 minutes
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