There are things that can be hard for patients to discuss with their healthcare provider.
Telemedicine has provided an avenue for people to interact with a healthcare provider either synchronously or asynchronously and allow people to address their healthcare needs in an environment that they feel comfortable with. There are increasingly innovative telemedicine companies providing care for patients ranging from transgendered medicine to treating refractory depression with ketamine.
There's one area of healthcare in particular that seems particularly conducive to telemedicine: weight loss. Over 60% of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese and the numbers are only rising. It's a topic that people can find intimidating to discuss directly with their doctors and patients are increasingly comfortable with telemedicine.
People understandably have questions about telemedicine prescription weight loss medications or trying to get phentermine prescribed via telemedicine. As a provider, there's nothing more rewarding than doing a telemedicine job that you love while providing a valuable and needed service for your patients.
Starting your virtual weight loss clinic as a provider can be hard. With the competitive market and the number of weight loss clinics that are on the rise, it may be difficult to know where to start. In this article, I’ll outline for you some starter tips that you can use to help your clinic and your patients be successful:
Now that virtual weight loss clinics are more common than before, learn your market and find out what makes you stand out. Do you offer multidisciplinary education sessions? Do you offer meal planning with cooking tips? Do you prescribe pharmacotherapy for weight loss such as phentermine or GLP-1 agonists?
Find out if there are other virtual services that you can collaborate with. For example, try locating a virtual bariatric clinic that you may send your patients to if needed. These quick resources are great for your patients and will help broaden your virtual network which can be key in the growth of your virtual practice.
For your patients who are receiving care virtually, it’s a safe assumption that they are relatively tech savvy. Keep on hand reputable online educational resources and videos that you can send to your patients for reference.
Try taking advantage of using digital scales. These can be inexpensive and can help you keep your patient accountable. Remote patient monitoring has proven beneficial in preventing chronic disease processes from worsening.
Having the help of an exercise physiologist or a nutritionist on your virtual appointment can help bring more education and different perspectives to your patient appointments. Many clinics are now adapting shared medical appointments, where more than one patient is on the virtual appointment together. This style of appointment has the potential to form great communities for patients, where a healthy exchange of successes and struggles can be shared.
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Are you a patient and want to help providers with designing your ideal telemedicine weight loss clinic experience? Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org!