Aesthetic Video Visits : Tips to Lead a Video Consultation for Your Aesthetics Practice

Tips to Conduct a Virtual Consultation for Your Aesthetics Practice

Telehealth has changed everything for aesthetic providers. Both providers and patients are saving time by electing to have video consultations for aesthetic treatments. The term tele-aesthetics has come to fruition with just about most types of healthcare now available for a variety of conditions. But how about aging and aesthetics?

Aesthetics may benefit more from than any other field of medicine. Mostly everything is surface-level; therefore, everything can be seen easily and examined through a virtual consultation.

As we all know, the challenge is that the patient is not able to get treated via video. In these cases, this can hinder an opportunity to generate revenue for the practice.

BOTOX, Fillers, Plastic Surgery, Laser treatments and just about all aesthetic treatments can benefit from a virtual consultation.

Although, most good faith providers will never pressure patients to get treated, some patients make impulse decisions that will have them opt in to get treated the same day, most often right after the consultation.

This opportunity is lost during the tele-aesthetics consultation.

Or is it?

So how do we make the most of the consultation in addition to providing an ideal patient experience? As well as converting them to a booking and or paying for a treatment.

If you’re ready to take advantage of virtual consultations for your aesthetics practice and hold your first virtual meeting, here are some tips to conduct a successful tele-aesthetics consultation for both your practice and your patient.

[Save this page as we’ll continue to add best practices as virtual consultations for aesthetics evolves]

1. Protect Patient Privacy

First and foremost, patient privacy methods must be established.

  • The easiest way to ensure HIPAA compliance is by utilizing HIPAA compliant texting software. As of this article’s published date, there have been laws that have been relaxed that allow the use of Zoom, Facetime and other common video chat platforms.
  • Do not initiate tele-consultation services until the patient has completed all office paperwork, like consent to care, intake data, and HIPAA acknowledgements.
  • Learn your state’s regulations and licensure requirements surrounding telehealth.
  • Providers should remain aware of what is visible through your camera in the background, and avoid using personal devices when possible to protect personal information.

2. Have a Clear Path to Payment

You will need a plan to charge your clients, as well as a process for collecting payment. Aesthetics is easier than any other field of telehealth in this regard, since you won’t have to worry about the insurance coverage side of things.

Most providers will not be prepared for this instance. The patient might be excited about the treatment and it’s best to provide an easy path for booking and or payment.

Because the patient is not in the practice, you’ll need to provide a quick and easy path for processing payment for the treatment or a deposit. Shoot for a deposit if the patient is excited about the treatment.

3. Guarantee Image and Audio Quality

Image and audio quality will dictate the success of the virtual consult. Poor communication leads to a messy experience.

Choose hardware and software that will produce the best virtual experience. Ask associates or experts for recommendations. Test the quality of your audio, video and connection every morning before starting your virtual calls. 

We highly recommend a test run with a staff member prior to doing your first tele-aesthetics consultation.

4. Perfect the Tech

Tele-aesthetic consultations can take a turn for the worse if there are WIFI complications, password problems, or internet server issues.

Have a plan for any technological difficulties that may arise during a consultation. Depending on the issue, the backup plan might be connecting with the user via Apple FaceTime, Google Duo or a phone call.

Having both a laptop, tablet or phone handy in case you’re having connection or device issues will save a lot of frustration.

5.Give Patients The Choice to Go Virtual

Let your patients choose between in-person or video consultations. Why?

The patient who is excited about the convenience of telehealth is likely to have a successful tele-aesthetics consultation. However, some patients favor in-person consultations. To maximize your conversions from consultations to surgeries, let patients choose the consultation experience they prefer.

We are still gathering data, but it can be likely that virtual consultations have a higher show rate than in-practice consultations.

6. Master the Scheduling Process

Scheduling consultations correctly will make them successful for both you and your patient.

  •  Be realistic about time. A virtual consultation for an aesthetics treatment may take a little longer than in-person visits because you won’t be getting the same cues from your patient. Give yourself ample time when you first start conducting tele-aesthetic consultations.
  • Don’t attempt to cram telehealth consults in-between office appointments. Maintain a weekly schedule of telehealth sessions like you would for in-office visits. Set boundaries for when you will allow rescheduling and last-minute appointments.

7. Make it Easy for the Patient

Have a team member call the patient and walk them through their upcoming virtual consultation. The patient should know exactly what to expect from the appointment.

Ask your patient what their priorities are for the appointment. You might ask them to supply photos of the area of the face or body that will be discussed during the consult.

Your patient will probably be wondering:

  • When will I be contacted?
  • How will I be contacted?
  • Do I need specific software on my phone?
  • Do I need login information?
  • Is there anything that should be completed beforehand – like paperwork or sending images to the provider?
  • What happens if I miss or forget about the appointment?
  • What happens if we have technological difficulties?
  • How long will the appointment be?

8. Prepare Yourself With Proper Lighting and Background

Take ample time before each tele-aesthetics consultation for planning in order to maximize your time.

  • Review patient images, charts, questions and concerns.
  • Eliminate distractions and background noises or activities.
  • Go to an appropriate space and make sure your internet connection is excellent.

9. Help the Patient Help You

Give your patient your full and undivided attention, the same way you do during an in-person consult. 

Turn off your phone, messaging platforms and anything that makes a sound when you receive a message. Little distractions can cause hiccups during the call that can lead the consultation off track.

Think about the tasks you would usually do in-person during the consult, and guide the patient to do it instead. For example, show your patient ideal facial expressions and posture so you can get a true angle of your patients' concerned areas.

10. Have Clear Steps or Options for The Patient

Before the end of the consultation, set up the next steps. Schedule the follow-up appointment, send appointment notes to your EMR or wherever you store patient files so you can be prepared when they show up for treatment.

Get your patient on the right path so they don’t get lost after the consultation. Don’t hesitate to request feedback. At the end of the appointment, ask new virtual patients what they thought about their tele-aesthetics consultation so that you can continue to improve.

11. Schedule a In-Practice Follow-Up

The initial conversation might be just to build trust with the patient so they can be more likely and better yet ready to take the next step and come in for a treatment. Setup a closing statement that is soft yet assertive. Such as, “we’re excited to see you come in to have the rest of your questions answered and get treated, does this Friday afternoon work for you”.

Safely Guiding Our Patients into the Future

Telemedicine is saving money and energy for providers and patients across the globe. In the aesthetics realm specifically, telehealth is eliminating many of the barriers that typically prevent patients from learning more about cosmetic procedures. Tele-aesthetics consultations appeal to:

  • Rural patients who live an hour or more away from the office
  • Patients who are worried about being recognized or judged in-office
  • Patients with busy lifestyles

With a little preparation and practice, tele-aesthetics consultations can revolutionize your practice, making work more relaxing and more profitable.