Practicalities of a Virtual Consultation

Tutorial presented by Dr Katherine Hickman, GP and National Primary Care Clinical Lead for the RCP’s National Asthma and COPD Audit Programme (NACAP)

Many GPs will have little previous experience of consulting remotely which can increase the risk of making errors of judgement, but this risk can be reduced by paying attention to some basic principles.

  • Highlight to the patient that their consultation might be done entirely virtually, by including a message on the practice website and the telephone recording
  • If you are inviting a patient for a review of their condition, include some details about the virtual consultation in the invitation letter
  • Ensure the patient has good internet access and can access certain resources that might be useful to discuss during their consultation
  • Have a low threshold for converting from the telephone consultation to a video or face-to-face consultation if you have any clinical concern about the patient or you need to do a more in-depth examination
  • Ensure you are prepared for video consultation with good lighting, internet connection
  • Ensure the patient understands everything you have discussed during the consultation, provide clear safety-netting to the patient and make a plan for follow up
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© Institute of Clinical Science and Technology (ICST) 2020