Article: Volume 47 Number 7 Page 594 - July/August 2020

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  Dent Update 2020; 47: 594-599

Telemedicine:  How to Conduct a Telephone Consultation; an Informative Guide

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Abstract: Telemedicine is the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology. The advantages of telemedicine include reduced travel time/cost and enhanced access to healthcare. The coronavirus pandemic in 2020 has necessitated the rapid implementation of remote consultations across all healthcare platforms, in most cases without any formal training. We present an educational framework for conducting telephone consultations in secondary care to help fill this gap. There are five key steps in a telephone consultation; patient introduction, information gathering, establishing a working diagnosis and plan for clinical care, planning the next step and closing the consultation. By focusing on what each step entails, this paper aims to help those new to telemedicine techniques and those responsible for training them, to shorten the learning curve.

Clinical relevance: This article aims to help clinicians become proficient and comfortable in conducting telephone consultations by providing a structure to the consultation which they can customize to their specific setting.

Author notes: Deirdre Coffey, BA, BDentSc(Hons), Dip PCD(RCSI), MFD(RCSI), Dental Core Trainee, Aintree University Hospital and Anne Begley, FDS RCPS, FFD RCSI, FRCS(OMFS), Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Aintree University Hospital, Lower Lane, Liverpool L9 7AL, UK.

Objective: To educate on safe and effective telephone consultations in a secondary care setting.

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