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How to Conduct Professional Video Consultations

Here are a few tips to make sure your video consultations are as professional as possible.

Here are a few tips to make sure your video consultations are as professional as possible.

1. Before the consultation

As you would for in-person consultations, ensure you set your mobile phone to silent.

2. Introductions

Be sure that everyone participating in the video consultation is introduced. This is to ensure that everyone feels comfortable. Ensure that anyone else in the room with the patient (e.g. family member) is introduced and that the patient gives permission for them to be present during the consultation. Finding out that someone else is in the room that people on the call with didn’t know about can make either yourself or others feel uncomfortable and is a privacy issue. As with in-person consultations, you have a responsibility to introduce yourself and your role and to ensure that this is understood by the patient.

3. Cameras and noise

Remember that when you are on a video consultation, that a camera is watching your every movement. Be aware of your non-verbal (body) language and be actively engaged with the patient. Pay attention to your words and tone of voice. Be considerate that the microphone on your device is sensitive! Subtle sounds such as typing on the keyboard, clicking a pen, shuffling paperwork, sighing, and whispers can easily be picked up and will affect how the patient feels about the consultation. Also, speak normally and clearly into the camera. Try not to speak louder than normal. Remember to behave as professionally as you would with any patient you were physically in a room with. And always be sure to check that you have properly disconnected both the visual and audio connection at the end of your video consultation!

4. Eye contact

You will have a natural inclination to look at the person’s face during the video consultation. Most devices have their camera placed just above the screen and when the screen is small this should naturally result in eye-to-eye contact. But you should still attempt to look directly at the camera. If your screen is very large, it may appear to the patient that you are looking down or away and you may need to compensate for this.

5. Conversation

During a video consultation, generally only one individual will be able to speak at a time and be heard, without disrupting the flow of conversation. Sometimes there may also be a delay due to the time it takes to transmit the audio. Pause after you are done speaking to allow audio fully to transmit and find a rhythm in taking turns in talking so that there are less interruptions. If the patient (or your) environment is too noisy, you may need to utilize the mute function when either party is not talking to improve quality of the conversation. If you are having trouble with sound quality, it may be best to consider obtaining a headset to improve audio.

6. Equipment

Be familiar with your equipment, both the software and hardware features that you’ll be using, so that you can keep your focus on the patient throughout the video consultation.

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