Medical practice has long depended on in-person office visits for discussion and diagnosis. While this remains important for many types of visits, technology has evolved to the point that follow-ups and routine check-ins can occur through telemedicine visits. Your practice can benefit from rolling telehealth visits into your offerings, in ways your staff and your patients will appreciate.
1. Improved Efficiency
Your staff and patients use a great deal of time processing paperwork and checking in for appointments. Telehealth visits allow you to run all of this through automated processes online. Your staff can focus efforts on aspects of your practice that require personal attention, rather than chasing information and trying to read patient and doctor handwriting.
2. Patient Convenience
For your patients, driving to the doctor's office presents a sometimes unnecessary hassle. They must leave home, show up early, wait in the waiting room if you are running behind, and, sometimes, take hours out of their day for a 15-minute appointment. Telehealth practices allow them to do what they need to do at home or work, and just take the actual appointment time out of their schedules.
3. Greater Accessibility
For some specialties, patients may have few options in their geographic area and insurance network. In-person visits may thus require travel and scheduling far in advance, leaving them struggling if they have an immediate need. Offering telehealth options to meet, set-up prescriptions, and handle routine visits makes you more accessible and capable of helping more patients.
4. Waiting Room Safety
The COVID-19 pandemic has put the focus on one of the great ironies of life: the spread of communicable diseases in a doctor's office. No matter how careful you are about sanitizing the waiting room area, sick people gathering in a waiting room cannot help but lead to some contagion problems. Offering telehealth visits to patients who do not have to be there in person helps protect your most vulnerable patients. It gives more room in the waiting room for social distancing and prevents unneeded exposure by keeping some patients in the safety of their homes.
5. Prioritize In-Person Time
Some of your patients need to be there in person. Diagnosing an acute illness or treating an injury demands a physical presence. When you offer telehealth options for those who do not have to be in front of a doctor, it allows those doctors to focus more of their time and attention on the patients who need it most. Instead of bouncing among appointments, they can give their direct attention to patients who need to be there.
Incorporating telehealth into your practice may feel scary, and even unnatural. When you do, though, you will discover not only greater efficiency for your practice, but better care for your patients in the process. Adapting now can yield powerful dividends for everyone involved.