As Skype consultations and telehealth becomes more popular, you can add these services to your appointment panel and allow patients to book online for these.
This is a great service if you are in a mining town with lots of FIFO patients, or in a CBD location where you offer a more concierge type of service, as well as offering an alternative to face-to-face consultations.
As a starting point, ensure you have read the RACGP guidelines:
Option 1: Offering them as part of the normal appointment book
You can set up an appointment type “Skype Consult” or "Telehealth Consult" and put in all of the relevant information around them such as duration, cost - medicare rebate (if applicable) and any other relevant information you wish to advise the patient of if they select this appointment type.
We suggest unless you are setting aside specific times for these- that you might want to add something like “as with all appointments, the doctor may be delayed with previous patients” or something along those lines.
If you only want them available at certain times, then once you set up the appointment type- then set the limits around that appointment.
In the question box you can put “What is your Skype address” or other appropriate question if information is required, and then this will appear at the end of the patients name on the appointment book.
You can then select which practitioners will be available for that type of consult.
Option 2: Offering them as a stand alone clinic
You will need to set up "Telehealth" (or whatever name you wish to call them) as a practitioner in your PMS for the times you wish to run these sessions and make them active.
Set up the appointment type as described above and set the limits to coincide with the sessions of the clinic.
Make this appointment type only available for the practitioner "Telehealth".
Communications with your patients:
To ensure your patient has all of the correct information there are several steps you can take:
- Appointment description - Make sure that the appointment description (settings > appointment type > telehealth appointment > edit) clearly indicated that the appointment is not held at the practice. Ad any other information you feel important including links to information.
- Appointment description - Appointment description is the perfect place to confirm the number the patient would like to be contacted on at the time of there appointment. This information is written back into the patient's appointment details.
- Confirmation and cancellation emails - Confirmation and reminder emails are customizable to the practice. Going in and changing the information will again ensure that the patient understands exactly what will happen leading up to and following their telehealth/Phone consult
Of course, if you require assistance, contact one of our friendly support staff who would be happy to help you.