The importance of a positive patient-physician relationship is undeniable. Virtual care providers must consciously work to develop a strong relationship with patients. In a digital environment, this translates to strong communication skills. In other words, being a good listener and answering all the patient’s questions and concerns as well as or better than in an inpatient environment. It also means ensuring the patient understands the symptoms or treatment options discussed. Strong communication and a web-side manner are essential in overcoming the artificiality of not being physically in the room.
It is important to note that the physician’s (virtual) presence in the room is not the only one who incurs liability risk. Hospitals and emergency rooms offering telemedicine services can also minimize their risk by way of a few key considerations.