Considerations for offering video visits at your DPC practice

Telehealth has become more popular among providers and patients since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the height of the coronavirus outbreak, remote care was safer in many cases than an in-office visit and, in fact, has been proven effective for a variety of visit types. As a direct primary care (DPC) physician, you have the flexibility to offer virtual care in many forms during the pandemic and during “normal” times. Here are some considerations for offering video visits at your DPC practice.

Most DPC practices are already set up for remote care and have been providing virtual visits as a regular part of their membership services. DPC providers often communicate with patients via email or text as well as via phone and video consultations. These capabilities and experiences gave the DPC practice an advantage over traditional model independent practices during the pandemic, especially.

While other healthcare practices were challenged with coding and being reimbursed for telehealth visits, the DPC practice typically does not accept insurance and has no concerns with whether the video visit will be covered under a patient’s policy. The DPC provider who does not rely on Medicare billing has greater flexibility in providing remote care.

Many DPC practices are set up with their electronic health record (EHR) system to be able to provide web-based video consults. The integrated video visit for EHR optimization is efficient and beneficial for DPC providers and their patients.

Elation offers your DPC practice a HIPAA-compliant video platform within our EHR, powered by Zoom, enabling your practice to provide virtual care without having to implement or maintain a separate solution. Learn more here.

Integrating telehealth into your EHR helps you improve your clinical workflows. Virtual care, including video visits, becomes easier since your EHR system is already coordinating care for your patients, tracking their progress, and storing their data. The quality of patient care is also improved and interoperability is increased. Your video visit for EHR and telehealth solutions streamlines patient care into one single workflow.

One of the considerations for offering video visits at your DPC practice is that the encounter should mimic an office visit as much as possible, rather than resembling a video call with a friend or family member. Professionalism, confidentiality, and communication are key to your successful interaction with the patient.

The American Medical Association (AMA) recommends the following key considerations in their Telehealth Visit Etiquette Checklist:

Environment

  • Ensure privacy (HIPAA)
  • Clinically appropriate exam room location, size, and layout
  • Avoid background noise
  • Adequate lighting for clinical assessment

Equipment

  • Desktop computer vs. tablet
  • High-speed internet
  • Web camera
  • Microphone
  • Dual screens for EHR documentation note taking
  • RPM dashboard (if using)
  • Headphones

Dress

  • The same level of professional attire as in-person care

Communication

  • Turn off other web applications and all notifications
  • Review patient complaints and records before beginning call
  • Adjust webcam to eye level to ensure contact
  • Narrate actions with patient (If you need to turn away, look down to take notes, etc.)
  • Verbalize and clarify next steps, such as follow-up appointments, care plan, prescription orders
  • Pause to allow transmission delay
  • Speak clearly and deliberately
  • Choose empathetic language
  • Use non-verbal language to signal that you are listening

You and your patient benefit from video visits integrated with your EHR and patient portal. The process is more efficient for you and your patients have more flexibility in securing the quality care they need from you and your clinical team.

Telehealth has become more popular among providers and patients since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the height of the coronavirus outbreak, remote care was safer in many cases than an in-office visit and, in fact, has been proven effective for a variety of visit types. As a direct primary care (DPC) physician, you have the flexibility to offer virtual care in many forms during the pandemic and during “normal” times. Here are some considerations for offering video visits at your DPC practice.

Most DPC practices are already set up for remote care and have been providing virtual visits as a regular part of their membership services. DPC providers often communicate with patients via email or text as well as via phone and video consultations. These capabilities and experiences gave the DPC practice an advantage over traditional model independent practices during the pandemic, especially.

While other healthcare practices were challenged with coding and being reimbursed for telehealth visits, the DPC practice typically does not accept insurance and has no concerns with whether the video visit will be covered under a patient’s policy. The DPC provider who does not rely on Medicare billing has greater flexibility in providing remote care.

Many DPC practices are set up with their electronic health record (EHR) system to be able to provide web-based video consults. The integrated video visit for EHR optimization is efficient and beneficial for DPC providers and their patients.

Elation offers your DPC practice a HIPAA-compliant video platform within our EHR, powered by Zoom, enabling your practice to provide virtual care without having to implement or maintain a separate solution. Learn more here.

Integrating telehealth into your EHR helps you improve your clinical workflows. Virtual care, including video visits, becomes easier since your EHR system is already coordinating care for your patients, tracking their progress, and storing their data. The quality of patient care is also improved and interoperability is increased. Your video visit for EHR and telehealth solutions streamlines patient care into one single workflow.

One of the considerations for offering video visits at your DPC practice is that the encounter should mimic an office visit as much as possible, rather than resembling a video call with a friend or family member. Professionalism, confidentiality, and communication are key to your successful interaction with the patient.

The American Medical Association (AMA) recommends the following key considerations in their Telehealth Visit Etiquette Checklist:

Environment

  • Ensure privacy (HIPAA)
  • Clinically appropriate exam room location, size, and layout
  • Avoid background noise
  • Adequate lighting for clinical assessment

Equipment

  • Desktop computer vs. tablet
  • High-speed internet
  • Web camera
  • Microphone
  • Dual screens for EHR documentation note taking
  • RPM dashboard (if using)
  • Headphones

Dress

  • The same level of professional attire as in-person care

Communication

  • Turn off other web applications and all notifications
  • Review patient complaints and records before beginning call
  • Adjust webcam to eye level to ensure contact
  • Narrate actions with patient (If you need to turn away, look down to take notes, etc.)
  • Verbalize and clarify next steps, such as follow-up appointments, care plan, prescription orders
  • Pause to allow transmission delay
  • Speak clearly and deliberately
  • Choose empathetic language
  • Use non-verbal language to signal that you are listening

You and your patient benefit from video visits integrated with your EHR and patient portal. The process is more efficient for you and your patients have more flexibility in securing the quality care they need from you and your clinical team.