BackTable / Urology / Podcast / Episode #32
Tips and Tricks for Telehealth
with Dr. Chandy Ellimoottil
In this episode of BackTable Urology, Dr. Aditya Bagrodia and Dr. Chad Ellimoottil, a Michigan Medicine urologist and Director of the U-M Telehealth Research Incubator, discuss advice and future projections for telehealth.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, March 2). Ep. 32 – Tips and Tricks for Telehealth [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Dr. Chandy Ellimoottil
Dr. Chad Ellimoottil is a urologist with Michigan Medicine and the Director of the University of Michigan Telehealth Research Incubator.
Dr. Aditya Bagrodia
Dr. Aditya Bagrodia is an associate professor of urology and genitourinary oncology team leader at UC San Diego Health in California and adjunct professor of urology at UT Southwestern.
In this episode of BackTable Urology, Dr. Aditya Bagrodia and Dr. Chad Ellimoottil, a University of Michigan urologist and the Director of U-M Telehealth Research Incubator, discuss his advice and future projections for telehealth.
Across all specialties, 15-20% of monthly medical visits are currently being conducted via telehealth. When deciding whether a consultation is appropriate for a virtual platform, Dr. Ellimoottill recommends assessing a patient’s unique situation instead of relying on their diagnosis. He emphasizes the importance of in-person visits if AUA guidelines require the physician to perform a physical exam.
Next, Dr. Ellimoottil shares his tips for having a successful telehealth appointment. First, he notes that punctuality is even more important over a virtual platform, as many patients may assume they are using the virtual platform incorrectly if they do not see a provider at the scheduled time. Additionally, he encourages physicians to keep their eyes focused on the camera and dress as professionally as possible, whether it be through wearing a white coat or displaying their certifications in the background. Finally, he places great importance on asking the patient directly about their telehealth experience for suggestions on improving it. He notes that this action can greatly reduce the number of dissatisfied patients who do not show up to their scheduled visits.
Furthermore, the doctors discuss the future direction of telehealth. Although he notes that interstate consultations were beneficial at the start of the pandemic, Dr. Ellimoottil acknowledges that these consultations have become very complex because of recent regulatory changes. He also commends the availability of virtual interpreters in telehealth consultations, but addresses the inaccessibility of setting up a telehealth appointment to non-English speaking patients, which has contributed to healthcare inequity during the pandemic. Both doctors agree that there remains much research and many initiatives to be carried out in order to make telehealth a possibility for indigent and elderly populations as well.
Finally, the doctors discuss the impact of telehealth on physicians. Dr. Ellimoottil believes that physician satisfaction with telehealth is directly associated with their personal mindset about telehealth. Thus, telehealth may cause burnout for one provider but enhance the quality of life for another. Nevertheless, he believes that telehealth will benefit both patients and providers if it is proposed as an option to both parties.
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