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To succeed with telehealth

To succeed with telehealth, know your “webside manner”

Topic: To succeed with telehealth, know your “webside manner”

Telehealth has been in some level of development in many U.S. physician practices for years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust it to the forefront of patient care, often before doctors have been properly trained to do it.

A webinar hosted by Massachusetts General Hospital, “Crossing the Virtual Chasm: Rethinking Curriculum, Competency, and Culture in the Virtual Care Era,” included five panel discussions with experts from around the country and focused on defining a framework for assessing competency for training in virtual care, as well as addressed challenges, workflows, strategies and best practices in virtual care enabled education.

Among the experts weighting in was Neil Naik, MD, director of emergency medicine simulation education and an assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, in New York City, with best practices for adding warmth, clarity and, most important, effectiveness to telehealth visits.

Physicians and others from several member schools of the AMA Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium took part in the daylong virtual event.

New medium requires new skills
Dr. Naik and his colleagues at Weill Cornell Medicine and the institution’s Center for Virtual Care developed a telemedicine training program for medical students long before the pandemic started. While there were lessons to be learned about the technical side of video visits, medical students most often wanted to talk about their interactions with patients.

“Most providers conduct telemedicine visits without any previous training in this area, which leaves them as novices when it came to webside manner,” Dr. Naik said. “And so we’re all starting from the same page, whether we were already practicing clinicians that had 20 years of experience or if we were first-year medical students.”

Topic Discussed: To succeed with telehealth, know your “webside manner”

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