Top tips for both patients and healthcare professionals on how to get the most out of digital consultations, based on people's experiences.
Top tips for patients
Ask for a timeslot for when your remote consultation will take place.
- Let your healthcare professional know how you prefer to talk by phone, video or in-person.
- Find somewhere quiet and confidential and, if this isn’t possible or is tricky, make this clear when you are making your appointment.
- Start with a phone call if you’re not confident with video technology.
- Ask for help if you need it and, if possible, do a practice run with a friend.
- Take some time to prepare in advance, consider what you want to say and key questions you would like to ask.
- Ask your healthcare professional to summarise the next steps at the end of the appointment.
- Remote consultations can be useful for routine appointments or ongoing care with a health care practitioner.
- Not all appointments are suitable for remote consultations, if you would like to see someone in-person please say so.
Top tips for health and care professionals
Provide a precise time window for appointments.
- Check that the person is in a confidential and safe place to have the phone or video call.
- Understand the person’s level of confidence using technology and give people a choice of how to communicate.
- Proactively check what the patient needs, clarify what is happening next and who is responsible for the next stages of care.
- Slow down the pace of the consultation, demonstrate active listening.
- Use the chat function in video calls to make the appointment more interactive, share links to information or summarise next steps.
- Don’t ask people to provide information you already have access to.
- Give guidance about how the appointment will work, offer demonstrations, provide an opportunity for a test run/provide some training.
- Seek feedback about peoples’ experiences and use this to improve the service.