Telehealth Tips For Improving Your “Webside” Manner


Telehealth originated several decades ago and over the years, became a viable alternative to make care accessible to people living in remote locations. The internet changed everything, allowing healthcare professionals to connect with patients using digital information and communication technologies such as computers, tablets and smartphones. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth usage surged as an effective way to safely deliver healthcare. Medical transcription outsourcing ensures accurate documentation of these virtual consultations.

Whether the interactions are face-to-face or virtual, patient-centered communication is key to providing high-quality health care.  As practices continue to rely on telehealth, physicians need to improve their ‘webside’ manner. Wiktionary defines webside manner as the way in which a healthcare professional interacts with patients remotely in telehealth or telemedicine. In other words, with telehealth usage, you need to maximize the patient experience by translating ‘bedside manner’ to ‘webside manner’. Let’s see how you can do this.

Ways to Improve Your Webside Manner and Enhance the Patient Experience

In telehealth, you’re not in the same room as the patient and new skills are needed to provide the necessary care. To succeed with telehealth, you need to know how to communicate and interact with patients in video visits and make them feel comfortable, and to feel that they will receive an efficient and satisfactory visit. Here are 7 tips to improve your webside manner:

  • Set up a good quality online communication platform: Invest in quality telehealth platform with interactive audio and video conferencing modules. This will allow you to diagnose the patient using visual clues, clearly hear what they are saying, and explain the treatment. By communicating effectively, your patients will feel reassured that their symptoms have been correctly identified, which is crucial to tailor treatment. Top technologies also allow patients to securely connect with their providers on any device and are fully featured to protect confidential patient data.
  • Pay attention to positioning and settings: Make sure your face is clearly visible to the patient by putting yourself in the center of the frame and ensuring uniform, glare-free lighting distribution. Make eye contact by focusing on the camera and not on the screen, as this will let the patient know that you are looking at them. Choose a neutral background and make sure that there is nothing that will take the patient’s attention away from you. Make an effort to understand the patient’s home environment and ask them to ensure that their settings and body position will allow for proper examination.
  • Etiquette matters: Courteous behavior can support a positive interaction. If you are meeting the patient for the first time, smile and introduce yourself. Tell the patient what to expect – this is especially important if it’s the patient’s first experience with telehealth. Before you end the call, make sure the patient understands the treatment plan and leave time for them to ask questions. Avoid distracting body language during the virtual visit. Your appearance matters too – dress professionally just as you would in the office setting.
  • Communicate clearly: Just as with in-person visits, building rapport and communicating properly with your patients is crucial in a telehealth visit. Avoid abbreviations and medical jargon as patients are less likely to ask for clarifications during online visits. Just as in an in-person visit, provide a plan for the patient, send notes to the patient and set up any referrals needed.
  • Listen and show empathy: For meaningful virtual interactions with patients, use skills and techniques that will convey empathy, build trust, and reduce anxiety. To make patients will be more comfortable, conduct the visit in a quiet, comfortable, private space. Take steps to mitigate interruptions and avoid multitasking during the visit. Use gestures to show the patient you are listening and don’t interrupt. Offer reassurance and encouragement.
  • Treat it like the in-person visit: Review the patient’s chart before the video visit, obtain the patient’s health history if necessary and as much clinical information as possible. Provide the same standard of care as in a face-to-face office visit. Explore whether peripherals can used for treating and diagnosing patients remotely. For instance, an electronic stethoscopeenables remote providers to listen to sounds similar to those at the point of care. Peripherals can be used to transmit high-definition audio, video, images, and other health data (such as vitals, blood glucose levels, etc.) from the patient to the off-site provider. Web-based or mobile apps, wearable devices that automatically record data such as heart rate, blood sugar, home monitoring devices, and devices that send notifications to patients can support telehealth interactions.
  • Practice, practice: Developing a webside manner requires practice. However, most providers conduct telemedicine visits without any previous training in this area, which leaves them as novices when it came to webside manner, says Neel Naik, MD, director of emergency medicine simulation education and an assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine, in New York City ( The more you practice, the more you will be comfortable with telehealth

Outsource Medical Transcription

Focusing on the patient is an integral element of a successful telehealth visit. Use your computer to interact with the patient and not for any other purpose. If you make EHR notes, inform the patient that you need to capture their story correctly. You can rely on telehealth medical transcription services to document the visit and focus on your webside manner to deliver quality care.

Julie Clements

About Julie Clements

Joined the MOS team in March of 2008. Julie Clements has background in the healthcare staffing arena; as well as 6 years as Director of Sales and Marketing at a 4 star resort. Julie was instrumental in the creation of the medical record review division (and new web site); and has especially grown this division along with data conversion of all kinds.