Just because a technology is available doesn’t mean it’s cost-effective or the best clinical option. Some examples of tools that could aid in obtaining objective information during your virtual patient encounter could be remote stethoscopes, otoscopes, ultrasound, electrocardiograms, and more.
When choosing a new tool, it is important to consider:
How reliable and accurate is it?
For a tool to be helpful, you have to feel confident that the information it provides you is accurate, and this is not always the case. One example is smartwatches that can measure blood pressure. Currently, these tools are not reliably accurate, and a traditional arm cuff is recommended by the American Heart Association.
How user-friendly is it for the patient?
If a patient is going to struggle to use the tool accurately, it may create more stress during the visit and make the encounter less—not more—productive.
How user-friendly is it for you?
Ease of use also applies to you. Does the device integrate with other tools you use, notably the electronic health record?
Is it cost-effective?
Who will pay for the gadget? Is this party willing to pay for the gadget?
Is the information very useful?
Ultimately if the information provides no benefit in how you would direct the patient’s care, perhaps the energy and resources could be better spent elsewhere.
Have you been asked to see patients virtually but feel that you lack the formal training to know how to obtain the information you need to provide the best care? This course will help you sharpen your history-taking and examination skills when assessing patients for HEENT, cardiopulmonary, abdominal, or musculoskeletal complaints virtually.
Learn about the various telehealth modalities and master this in-demand skill today.