FORGOT YOUR DETAILS?

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World events have created a boom in all things video conferencing. Kids, teenagers, grandmas, and office workers alike are turning to video services like Zoom or Skype to connect with their friends, family, or colleagues—while staying safe at home. 

With this sudden influx of virtual meetings, check-ins, and happy hours, I’ve had a big realization. Very few of us are actually good at hosting video calls—and we all suffer (to some degree) from poor resolution, sub-par audio quality, or some kind of bad remote communication etiquette. That’s fine in a casual setting, but it might not fly if you’re in the middle of treating a patient—especially one who’s not completely sold on telehealth.

We want rehab therapists to have a smooth transition into the world of telehealth, which is why we decided to compile some common telehealth tech blunders that could really trip you up if you’re new to the virtual care game. 

Note: This article uses telehealth terminology that you may or may not be familiar with—so if you need to brush up on the lingo (e.g., “asynchronous” or “e-visit”), check out this telehealth post from John Wallace, PT, MS, WebPT’s Chief Business Development Officer of RCM. 

1. Lack of Clear Communication

This applies to: 

  • asynchronous and synchronous e-visits, 
  • asynchronous and synchronous telephone visits, and
  • synchronous telehealth visits. 

Patients love clarity. They love knowing exactly what they need to do to make sure their entire appointment experience—from scheduling to payment—goes off without a hitch. Unfortunately, transitioning to telehealth means you need to revisit your communication process, because you can no longer ask patients to swing by the front desk to pay their copay or schedule their next appointment. You must figure out how to streamline your remote communication process—and fast—because patients don’t need any additional stressors on their plate.  

Establishing a Process

While this isn’t necessarily a quick fix, it is a one-and-done type of deal. It’s absolutely crucial that you sit down and establish a step-by-step communication process for patients who wish to receive telehealth services. Make sure you’re thorough and that you address every step of the patient treatment process. Start by asking yourself questions like: 

  1. How will we inform patients about these new telehealth services?
  2. What’s the easiest way for patients to reach out and request one of these services—and how do we teach them how to put in a request?
  3. How do we collect insurance information from new patients—and who does this?
  4. How do we collect payment from patients—and who does this?
  5. How do we follow up with patients—and who does this?
  6. How quickly should we aim to respond to patients (e.g., within one business day)?

Whether or not you enlist the help of a software to handle some parts of the process, it’s important to create a telehealth playbook so the patient experience is uniform and smooth. 

2. Subpar Audio 

This applies to: 

  • asynchronous and synchronous e-visits, 
  • asynchronous and synchronous telephone visits, and
  • synchronous telehealth visits. 

Whether you’re talking with a patient over the phone, recording and sending messages, or communicating via live video conferencing, good audio is the cornerstone of a positive patient telehealth experience. When you meet with patients in person, you don’t have to worry about this sort of thing, because you hear the same things the patient does—so you know when to move because there’s too much background noise, or when to adjust your speech to communicate with patients who are hard of hearing. But making those adjustments on the fly is tough when you can’t hear what the patient hears—and a small noise on your end might sound like a blaring, crackly mess on the patient’s end.

Improving Your Audio

Luckily, you don’t have to buy a top-of-the-line audio system to give patients a good auditory experience. First, eliminate as many ambient sound factors as possible: turn off your squeaky overhead fan, and mute your phone notifications. Additionally, instead of using your device’s built-in microphone, you may want to consider using an external mic. This could be as simple as putting on a pair of earbuds with an internal mic (like this Wistia video recommends) or investing in a low-budget microphone (like our videographer recommends).

The best way to figure out how your microphone sounds is to test it out. Ask another therapist from your practice—or even a family member—to hop on a quick call with you to listen to your audio. If you’re planning to provide synchronous telehealth services, try running through a few exercises with your test partner.

3. Poor Lighting 

This applies to: 

  • asynchronous and synchronous e-visits and
  • synchronous telehealth visits. 

In addition to clear audio, a clear picture is a major telehealth experience factor. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking with patients live or sending them pre-recorded videos for an e-visit; either way, they need to be able to see you—especially if you’re demonstrating exercises. But, if your lighting isn’t set up the right way, then you could end up looking like a shadowy figure whose movements and facial expressions are tough to discern. 

Lighting Your Video

Fixing up your video lighting is simple. The biggest thing you need to know is that you shouldn’t have a light source directly behind you. This will blow out the camera, making the window or lamp brilliantly bright and your face shadowy and dim. If you rotate around, however, and position the light source directly in front of you, it’ll illuminate your face and body. (Check out the above-cited Wistia resource to see this effect in action.) 

If you’re sending video exercises to a patient as part of an e-visit,  then you might not have to worry about lighting at all. Some vendors (specifically HEP vendors) provide libraries of high-quality exercise videos that you can send your patients—as well as a secure patient portal you can use to communicate with patients about their exercises. To see how WebPT HEP, specifically, can assist with e-visits, check out this page

4. Poor Camera Positioning 

This applies to: 

  • asynchronous and synchronous e-visits and
  • synchronous telehealth visits. 

Once you’ve found some good lighting conditions to record video or conduct your virtual telehealth session, it’s time to find the perfect position for your camera. Again, this is something that we tend to be more forgiving about during our personal calls, but your professional calls should look—well—a little more professional. Patients need to be able to see your whole face when you talk—and potentially your whole body if you’re demonstrating exercises. 

Setting Up Your Camera

While there’s no need to overthink your camera positioning, there are a few things to consider as you set up your video station. Start by running through this checklist:

  • If you’re using a stationary webcam, try to position the camera so it’s at about eye level, and stay one arm’s length away from the camera. 
  • Give yourself enough space to move around and demonstrate exercises. 
  • If you’re planning to move your camera around—to show floor exercises, for example—have some stable surfaces handy (e.g., a little table or a stack of books) so you don’t have to hold the camera or set it on the floor. 
  • Tidy up your backdrop. A messy or busy office space can be distracting!  

5. Slow Internet Connection

The applies to: 

  • synchronous telehealth visits.

My boss had a decent Internet connection. At least, she thought she had a decent connection until she started working from home and had to attend a handful of remote video-enabled meetings each day. She did everything right—her camera setup was flawless and her audio was clear and free of background noise. But, her Internet couldn’t sustain a video stream, so her picture was choppy, her audio cut in and out, and it was impossible to hold a real-time conversation with her. 

The moral of this story is that even if you do everything else right, it won’t matter one bit if your Internet connection can’t handle your telehealth video streaming demands. And if your Internet is compromising the quality of your video, then your patients are due for a frustrating (and off-putting) telehealth experience. 

Optimizing Your Connection

If you’re having relatively mild internet problems, then you may be able to fix ’em with a mild solution. If you’re using WiFi, try using a device that you can hook directly into your router—and get an ethernet cable if you don’t have one.

Just like your computer needs the occasional reboot, your Internet router benefits from them, too—so restarting your router can also help. All you have to do is unplug it for 10 seconds, and then plug it back in. Bada bing, bada boom! 

I also recommend limiting your Internet usage during live telehealth calls to help free up bandwidth for the video stream. On your personal computer or phone, you can lose Internet bandwidth to the extra processes that are running in the background (e.g., all those open Internet tabs or open apps). So, be sure to close those down. If that doesn’t help, you might need to turn your eye toward other Internet users. For example, if another person in the building uses the same connection as you—and he or she is listening to music on Spotify or hosting another telehealth visit—that takes precious bandwidth away from your own telehealth call. 

Ultimately, if your internet package isn’t up to snuff, you might just need to upgrade. In Rick Gawenda’s latest webinar, host Mark Milligan, PT, DPT, recommended investing in an Internet package that gives you at least a 15 Mbps download speed and a 5 Mbps upload speed. 


These are challenging times, and pivoting from an in-person practice to a hybrid or completely remote model is stressful, at best. But, if PTs quickly adapt and provide quality remote care to patients, it could change the industry as we know it—for the better.  

The post 5 Telehealth Tech Blunders that Hurt the Patient Experience appeared first on WebPT.

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It’s a challenging time for small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs), but it’s bringing out the best in the companies that serve them.

Google recently announced its plan to offer SMBs $340 million in ad credits. Now Facebook has pledged $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to SMBs that qualify. Assistance can be used to keep customers engaged, employees connected and expenses in check.

Facebook says up to 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries will be able to take advantage of the program. Eligible businesses must have:

  • Between 2 and 50 employees
  • Been in business for over a year
  • Experienced challenges from COVID-19

Businesses must also be in or near locations where Facebook operates. You can check eligibility and sign up to receive more information when it becomes available at the Facebook for Business site.

 

Google is offering $340 million in ad credits to small and midsize businesses. Find out how to take advantage of them.

 

In the meantime, Facebook offers these five tips for businesses affected by COVID-19:

  1. Stay safe and informed: follow credible sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and local government news feeds.
  2. Stay in touch with customers: proactively share information across social media, including updates to business hours and operations.
  3. Host online events: try webinars or live sessions to keep customers connected and engaged.
  4. Prepare a customer service plan: make sure your customer service team has planned responses for incoming questions and requests.
  5. Offer responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs): anticipate questions your customers are likely to ask and prepare empathetic responses.

 

Facebook’s Business Resource Hub also features other helpful tools, like a business resilience toolkit, a quick action guide and resources for customers and employees.

CallRail is here to help, too. Because we’re in the business of keeping SMBs connected, we’re offering a two-month free trial for new customers. All of our products are eligible in any combination, including Call Tracking, Form Tracking, and Conversation Intelligence.

The post Taking care of small businesses: Facebook offers $100 million in cash grants to SMBs appeared first on CallRail.

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By: Bianca Buliga, Senior Marketing Manager

Adrienne Prentice and Cait Zogby are the co-founders of MotherNation, a social support and advocacy community for Mothers. They connect and empower Mothers to navigate their own version of Motherhood with confidence and flex their MotherNation muscle to demand the policy changes that ALL Mothers deserve.

MotherNation

As the MotherNation team starts preparing for Virtual Demo Day on Tuesday, April 14th, the SEED SPOT team sat down with Adrienne and Cait to learn more about this venture’s journey:

What inspired you to start your venture?
We both felt the disconnect among Mothers and the lack of systemic support in America when we had our first babies. Motherhood was isolating and confusing for us in different ways. We later learned this is a common experience and we were tired of waiting for someone else to solve this massive problem.

What did you hope to gain by applying to SEED SPOT’s Impact Accelerator program?
Accountability and focus. We have so many ideas regarding how to help Mothers but we knew we had to be smart about where to start and figure out what is feasible from a business perspective. We also were looking forward to building out our community of fellow entrepreneurs and getting some PR exposure and good connections to potential investors.

What’s the most valuable lesson you learned during the Impact Accelerator?
Your financials tell a story– figure out your story first then tackle the Excel formulas. It helped us feel less intimidated by the numbers and more comfortable making all of the necessary assumptions that go into pro forma financial statements. (It’s just a story, right?!)

What does the future hold for your venture?
Hopefully lots of growth! We are focusing on developing key partnerships that will help us support more MotherNation citizens– both by inviting mamas into our community but also impacting policy changes that improve maternal well-being in America.

What is one piece of advice you have for entrepreneurs just beginning their journey?
Be as scientific as possible while still trusting your gut. When you have a thorough decision-making process based on data, it will give you more confidence when have to defend your choices. But sometimes your most valuable insight is what everyone will say is not possible. So figure out your secret sauce first and don’t relent – then look to data for everything else.

MotherNation

Good luck to Adrienne and Cait as they gear up to compete at DC Virtual Demo Day on Tuesday, April 14th. To hear them pitch to an online audience for the opportunity to win cash prizes, please RSVP HERE.

The post Meet the DC Impact Accelerator Ventures: MotherNation appeared first on SEED SPOT.

This post was originally published on this site

By: Bianca Buliga, Senior Marketing Manager

Vishal Chintawar and Timothy Guinan teamed up to create Givhero, Inc., an innovative social wellness platform that leverages causes employees to care about increasing engagement in healthy activities, increase productivity, and reduce costs. With Givhero, employers provide meaningful motivation by sponsoring employees’ health goals and rewarding their achievements, through donations to their favorite charity. Employee wellness, social wellness, and community wellness!

As the Givhero team starts preparing for Virtual Demo Day on Tuesday, April 14th, the SEED SPOT team sat down with Vishal to learn more about this venture’s journey:

What inspired you to start your venture?
I have worked with non-profits for the last 15 years and have seen how causes move people. I thought this intrinsic motivation to help others could get people off the couch and help them reach their health and wellness goals.

What did you hope to gain by applying to SEED SPOT’s Impact Accelerator program?
As a socially-impactful venture, we wanted to connect, learn and grow with other similar entrepreneurs.

What’s the most valuable lesson you learned during the Impact Accelerator?
As a young startup, we have to handle multiple things at the same time and sometimes we lose focus. We need to continuously revisit why we started the company and get back on track and follow our vision.

What does the future hold for your venture?
As we build relationships with channel partners, we hope to reach millions of employees and help them achieve their health and wellness goals.

What is one piece of advice you have for entrepreneurs just beginning their journey?
During your startup journey, it is very easy to undervalue yourself. Do not lose focus. Give yourself due credit. You are trying to build something awesome and that itself deserves a pat on the back.

Good luck to Vishal and Timothy as they gear up to compete at DC Virtual Demo Day on Tuesday, April 14th. To hear them pitch to an online audience for the opportunity to win cash prizes, please RSVP HERE.

The post Meet the DC Impact Accelerator Ventures: Givhero, Inc. appeared first on SEED SPOT.

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