Chances are, you’ve met some doctors who have an excellent bedside manner – and some with a lot of room for improvement. Whether your doctor simply didn’t “click” with you as a patient or was actively short-tempered or uncaring, you know that physicians’ bedside manner affects the patient experience. What you might not know, especially if you haven’t yet seen an online doctor yourself, is how bedside manner fares when that “bedside” is virtual. The phenomenon has coined a new term: webside manner.
Why Online Doctors’ Webside Manner Can Be Even Better Than Face-to-Face Bedside Manner
You might think that telemedicine providers would offer less in the way of a bedside manner. After all, you’re not in the same room. When it comes to doctor messaging platforms, you’re not even talking in real-time, and there are no non-verbal cues to give context to the words on the screen.
Yet when you look at telehealth services, you’ll find that this expectation could not be farther from reality. One factor the best online doctor and medical services have in common is that their emphasis on their physicians’ webside manner.
Friendly, caring and compassionate are some of the ways these services describe their providers. Telehealth membership services, which rely heavily on patients buying into their physicians’ webside manners, advertise doctors who “get to know you” on a personal level. Some telehealth platforms allow patients to review doctors and read those reviews when choosing which doctor they want to see.
Online doctors can provide a better patient experience than their counterparts in traditional medicine. Practicing medicine today is a far cry from what it was when doctors made house calls. Physicians in traditional practices are increasingly overwhelmed and burnt out. Even if they want to show a caring bedside manner, the stress of having thousands of patients to care for, and mere minutes to spend with each patient they see, makes it nearly impossible. Telemedicine eliminates many of these stressors. Instead of worrying about a physical office, administration and billing issues and staff management, online doctors can focus on patient care.
How Much Does Bedside or Webside Manner Really Matter, Anyway?
Having a good bedside manner improves patient outcomes, is equated with fewer medical malpractice lawsuits and results in providers reporting more fulfillment in their careers. It truly costs nothing to be kind, and when doctors bring compassion into the (virtual) exam room, everyone benefits.