Practical Steps and Strategies for Remote Treatment from a Board-Certified Orthodontist
Many orthodontists understand the importance of using new technology, but struggle with how to actually provide services like remote treatment in a way that is successful both for their patients and their practices. I want to share some practical things that I’ve learned from providing remote treatment that you can do in your practice. **This webinar took place on August 21, 2020. Check back for future webinars!**
Essentials for successful remote treatment in orthodontics:
- Great wireless connection
- Optimized workstation
- On-board your patients early
- Set expectations
- Successful stretch time between appointments
You need to have a fast, consistent wireless connection to provide quality remote treatment. The last thing you want is to waste time waiting for information to load. Make the investment in high speed internet and a great wireless hub.
Set up your workstation so it is ergonomic and in a central location. It helps to get a desk that allows for standing and sitting. Position it where you can still hear and see your “live” patients. It should be convenient for you to hop on and off your workstation in between “live” patients or other tasks. Keeping tabs on virtual and live patients should be seamless and incorporated into your workflow. Most orthodontists are used to quickly switching from task to task and patient to patient so incorporating remote treatment is not that big of a step.
On-board your patients as early as possible. It might be difficult for some patients to switch how their treatment is delivered if they’re already used to something else (but you’d be surprised how adaptive they can be with just a few minutes of assistance!) Develop a process with your front office and clinical staff to get your patients set-up as soon as practically possible.
Set expectations with your patients from the very first encounter. Remote treatment can and should be a normal part of orthodontic treatment, so incorporate this into how you provide all of your treatment. Explain how the process will work, how to find and use the tool(s) needed, and what they should do if they have any questions or concerns along the way.
Utilize the time between appointments to keep in contact with your patients. A quick message can go a long way in establishing rapport and leaving your patients feeling secure and confident. When you keep the lines of communication open, it also can help address any issues early – before they become problems. This makes things easier for everyone over the long-run.