The telehealth experience isn’t new, but it’s technology that’s become positively vital in early 2020 with the onset of COVID-19. In February 2020, telemedicine experienced an 87% spike in demand, and it’s only climbed since then. Patients being able to access their doctors and their health advice, expertise, and prescriptions all from the comfort of their homes via digital devices has been a great option in order to keep the spread of disease low. Big digital companies such as Zoom and Apple have even begun to partner with healthcare providers in order to make telehealth a more accessible possibility. In 2019, 69% of mid-size businesses offered telemedicine benefits. And even in a post-COVID world, the prediction is that the use of telehealth and other virtual services like it will be on the rise.
As an office manager for a healthcare practice, telehealth is something you may be considering integrating into your business operations, or maybe you have already set it up but now you want to fully leverage it. Either way, telehealth is an exciting emerging technology that can not only benefit your practice but can also improve the medical experience for your patients.
Benefits for Patients
One of the most obvious benefit for patients is convenience. From being able to check in online all the way to scheduling follow up appointments via a website portal, making and preparing for doctor appointments has never been easier. This of course increases the likelihood of patients going to the doctor more frequently and staying on top of their annual appointments.
For those who are anxious about health visits due to COVID-19, telehealth helps lessen that anxiety by allowing them to limit their exposure to others and allows patients to get both the care they need via a virtual visit, as well as any prescriptions delivered directly to their homes through ordering via a pharmacy app.
Benefits for Healthcare Offices
We have seen in the last year one of the biggest benefits to telehealth is the lack of exposure to other people. Telehealth eliminates the need for patients to come and sit in your waiting room, thus not having to worry about spacing people out or requiring masks.
Telehealth makes it easier to follow up on patients, for example after a hospitalization, and prescribe necessary medication and renew prescriptions. It also allows doctors to see and help more patients without increasing operating costs. It is more time efficient for both patient and doctor, being able to move more seamlessly from one patient to the other, eliminating the need to keep pushing back the whole schedule.
Telehealth has been described as the future of doctor visits and medical technology. If you are interested in incorporating it into your practice but don’t know where to start, our IT experts can help and consult with you on the right plan or service and help you manage the technology from start to finish. Let us know what you are working on, we’re always here to help.
By Taylor J. Bye, Customer Engagement Specialist