Cold Winter Weather and the Need for Telehealth

Don’t let the elements disrupt care

As a Buffalo native, I have more than a passing familiarity with inclement weather, specifically this thing called “lake effect snow” which can dump one to two feet of snow onto roads in just a few hours. This can lead to road closures and driving bans when visibility is limited or the plows haven’t been able to clear the streets enough for safe driving.

And it doesn’t take something like severe winter weather to make driving conditions dangerous. Sometimes a simple thunderstorm will accomplish the same thing. Fog, floods, mudslides—I’m sure you know as well as I do that you can’t predict Mother Nature, but you can have a plan in place so that your clients’ services are never interrupted.

Telehealth should be part of that plan.

Constant care, independent of weather

Imagine the same level of care you deliver in your office, but from anywhere. Telehealth allows clients to meet with you through audio and video over the internet, removing the need for them to leave the comfort and safety of their homes to meet in person. Offering this can be convenient all of the time, but of the utmost importance when winter weather makes traveling hazardous.

New to Telehealth?

Not to worry. We’ve got you covered.
Review even more advice on how to get started here.

Have your plan securely in place

Don’t wait until the last moment or when it’s absolutely necessary to let your clients know that Telehealth is an option you can offer them. Educate your clients on what Telehealth is, why it is beneficial to them, and how to use it. One simple way to foster an immediate understanding is to promote it on your website. In addition to teaching your clients how to use it, make sure that they know it’s a secure, HIPAA compliant solution and that they understand any insurance implications.

To help with this process, we’ve crafted a letter announcing to clients that you now offer Telehealth, which you can find here.

Telehealth Sample Letter Template

Advice on your first Telehealth session

Just as you’d want your office environment to be free of distractions for your clients, you want to take the same approach to each Telehealth session. Remain aware of your surroundings and remove anything distracting from the view of the recording. Additionally, establish early on how you will take notes during the session, because it’s likely that your client won’t see the method and you don’t want them to think that you’re otherwise engaged when your focus remains on them. Ultimately, a good rule of thumb is to approach a Telehealth appointment the same way you would a face-to-face session.

Also good on the cloudless, sunshiny days

As we push through the winter months dreaming of summer days, it’s good to remember the benefits of Telehealth aren’t innately tied to critical weather scenarios. Access is access, and eliminating travel and waiting time is a recognizable benefit for clients on days when they can’t leave their work or their home for any number of reasons.

Regardless of rain, sleet, or snow, make sure your clients know that inclement weather or poor driving conditions will never stand in the way of their well being. Even when a small change takes place in their personal lives or schedule, Telehealth can be the difference between a missed appointment and steps in the right direction.

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