Tips for Effective Teleconsultations

To arrange a telemedicine consult/conference to a remote site, first contact the Telemedicine Department at 802-847-8266 to schedule the time, technical support, and a telemedicine-equipped meeting room. 

Sit approximately 6 feet back from the monitor/screen

The smaller the gaze angle (i.e. the angle between your eye and the camera lens, and your eye and the image on the screen display) the more it appears to the person(s) at the remote site that you have eye contact with them.

The best image is usually just your head and shoulders/chest filling the screen

So that you do not look “distant” to the remote audience, enlarge the remote site’s image of yourself in the Picture in a Picture box on your screen, by first pressing the NEAR Camera button on the remote control. Then use ZOOM In & Out buttons and the buttons with arrows to enlarge and center your own image.

Position the image of the faces of the people at the remote site as high on your screen as possible

This locates their faces closer to the camera lens sitting on top of your monitor. Therefore as you look at their faces near the top of your screen, your eye gaze is almost directly into the camera lens, and thus it appears you are making eye contact with them.

Sit in a forward-leaning position and slightly exaggerate body motions on camera to affirm a patient's comments, such as nodding more or repeating statements

Research has shown that sitting back in your chair is often interpreted by the person at the remote site as being uninterested/disengaged.           

Speak clearly and slowly and wait a little longer to make sure patients finish their thoughts

Audio is the most important factor when doing videoconferencing. People in their first video conference are often understandably nervous, so make some casual small talk initially to set everyone at ease.

If others are in your room, be sure to show their images, introduce them, and ask the patient’s permission for them to be in the room

If appropriate, show the patient the room you are in by scanning it with your camera. It gives them a better context and shows them their conversation will be confidential.

For your clothing, avoid the color red, stripes, checks, and other patterned designs

Choose solid colors (but avoid white or red) for your jackets, tops, ties, etc., where possible because they transmit without appearing to “pulsate”.

Avoid busy-looking room backgrounds and never position yourself with your back facing a window

The best room background color for a video conference is solid blue. It allows a person’s facial expressions to be read most clearly and is less distracting.