It’s no secret that when the Covid-19 pandemic More than a year ago, healthcare was one of the most impacted industries in the world. As the founder of a startup that works with a number of large healthcare systems, our ability to see patients virtually (through telesalut) is not only what kept us afloat, but what allowed us to expand our reach far beyond the service areas of our suppliers. But it’s not just about serving more patients or expanding our group of patients – there are countless benefits to telehealth, especially when it comes to functional nutrition or medical nutrition therapy.
Functional nutrition (done correctly) addresses the root cause of chronic diseases: insulin resistance, which is caused primarily by obesity, an inactive lifestyle, and a high-carbohydrate diet. Through simple dietary changes, most chronic diseases can be stopped and even reversed. Now, with telehealth, dietitians can literally meet with patients where they are: providing recipe ideas, taking stock of their pantry, even virtually buying groceries with patients to eliminate the stress of meal planning. .
When telehealth was forced to act after orders to stay home, the commitment from a functional nutrition standpoint was worrisome. How would patients feel when they met a dietitian who could not see their whole body or pick up nonverbal cues? When you have the patient in front of you, distractions are eliminated and the patient can focus on their health at that time. I was worried that moving everything online would alter the patient-dietitian experience, but I quickly learned that the exact opposite was happening. I wasn’t prepared for how telehealth would shoot up my own healthcare business and drastically increase engagement. These are some of the best practices we have implemented to make telehealth work for everyone.
1. Show your face.
Not surprisingly, video visits compared to phone visits produce drastically higher levels of engagement, adding a level of responsibility that you can’t achieve with a phone call. In fact, a patient’s ability to be fully present can make a big difference in outcomes. Nonverbal cues communicate a lot: if a patient has a complete understanding of the following steps, if they feel uncomfortable (or confused by) anything, on board or on the fence, and more. Avoid multitasking at all costs and use video whenever possible.
2. Tracking, Tracking, Tracking.
While changes in nutrition may seem small to some patients, they may be discouraging (at first) to others. Especially when it comes to functional nutrition, we are working not only on diet, but also on general lifestyle changes to ensure lasting results. If someone feels alone, they are much less likely to stick with the plan. That’s why several points of contact are key – from email reminders to text message requests, health coach registration phone calls, and more. Helping your patients feel like you are accompanying them on the journey is the only way to ensure that telehealth works for everyone involved.
3. Share resources: It’s easier than ever!
Video dating offers huge opportunities to share resources, from sharing screen or chat links to articles and recipes, to (practically) going to a patient’s kitchen to help you with meal preparation, cooking , pantry and refrigerator inventory, and more. The possibilities are endless. In addition, any technology that facilitates remote patient control (such as in-app glucose logs and Bluetooth-enabled scales) improves telehealth effectiveness. By giving our providers access to their patients ’clinical data, we gain the trust of both patients and providers, while giving doctors the information they need to diagnose, monitor and treat more.
4. Communicate too much and accept text messages
Telehealth is not the only technology worth using. Text messaging has become the new standard of communication in the patient / provider relationship. While it may seem small, a quick, “How are things going?” The text can make a difference for someone who is struggling with their plan or thinking about giving up. With office visits, you don’t usually listen to your doctor between appointments. But the use of technology allows providers to regularly keep a finger on the pulse of their patients. In fact, our dietitians often receive text messages from patients about healthy births, they can pick up their grandchildren again, stick to certain pants for the first time in ten years, and more.
With the evolution of the role of technology in healthcare, it is more important than ever to ensure a personal touch at every step of the process. This is what builds trust and generates results. Patients need to know that someone cares, knows their history, and gets to know what is going on. Add it to everything you do and you will definitely see the results you are looking for.
About David Rambo
David Rambo is the President and CEO of Hi Simplex. David is a consummate entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the health and wellness industry. David founded Simplex Health after his personal experience with type 2 diabetes; he was not satisfied with the response of conventional medicine to controlling and managing the disease and an ineffective standard of care. David learned about the possibility of reversing the disease, a paradigm shift in medicine, from physicians with experience in the emerging field of functional medicine, which focuses on the root cause of the disease.
In 4 months, David was successful in reversing his type 2 diabetes and safely eliminated the need for prescription drugs that incorporated the same innovative dietary therapies that Simplex patients experience today. He created Simplex Health with the mission of providing the same life-changing care model to the conventional insurance model, increasing access to all, and providing individualized protocols and therapies that positively alter the lives of millions.