Tele-Presence 5: coaching self-examinations via telehealth

2 minute read

PODCAST: Hands-free diagnosis is harder, but interpersonal skills and smart tech can help, according to new US research.

Physical examinations are hampered by telehealth, but after an extensive literature review, experts have curated the best workarounds to optimise diagnosis.  

In this episode of In conversation we introduce Tele-Presence 5 – a guideline for doctors to coach patients through self-examinations via telehealth. Joining us is Professor Stephen W. Russell, physician and researcher from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  

Using long-term shoulder pain as an example, Professor Russell demonstrates how to talk a patient through a physical self-examination and touches on new technology emerging to support telehealth. He also explains the five key tenements of Tele-Presence 5 which are validated ways to increase connection and communication between patient and doctor.  

Taking time to prepare, listening closely and intentional non-verbal communication are part of the Tele-Presence 5 approach. Although they might seem common sense Professor Russell said these key skills are often overlooked in the busyness of clinical practice. 

“Sometimes it’s really hard to recognise that I’ve fallen away from some of the key fundamentals of medicine. I’ve been in practice for almost two decades and yet when the time pressure is on or when I’m really pushed with other responsibilities, those fundamentals can fall away.  

“As a practitioner, listening to this research and learning from this journal article, I realised that there were probably more things that I could do to prepare for a patient,” Professor Russell said. 

You can listen and subscribe to the show by searching for “Rheumatology Republic” in your favourite podcast player.

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