The current pandemic seems to be making changes around every corner. It is obviously greatly impacting healthcare in many ways. To limit in-person contact and help stop the spread, many healthcare providers have been turning to telehealth as their saving grace.
Over the last few months, we all have been urged to stay home to avoid the spread of disease, especially the highly contagious Covid-19. When having to wait in a waiting room and sitting inside a doctor’s office, it puts everyone at high risk. Telehealth eliminates this risk along with the hassle of having to go to a doctor’s office. With telehealth, patients can receive the healthcare they need in the comfort of their own home.
Your practice needs to keep up with the growing trend of remote consultation and virtual healthcare. Is your practice ready with the right virtual practice management software?
It is no surprise that revenue is down across the board in healthcare facilities due to the pandemic. This is mainly because routine and preventative care is not a priority at the moment. However, patients still need to have check-ups, prescription refills, and follow-ups – all without compromising the quality of care and without having to leave the house.
According to a recent study, between March 2 and April 14, virtual care visits grew by over 4,000%.
Due to this increase in telehealth, federal, state, and local regulations all have eased restrictions to allow for telehealth reimbursement. Recently, policy changes with Medicaid, Medicare, and other insurance companies have also made it more provider and patient-friendly to use telehealth.
Under the temporary policy, Medicaid and Medicare providers will receive reimbursement for virtual visits at the same rate as in-person visits. The hope is that this policy will become a permanent change in recent months.
Perks of Telehealth
There are many perks to using telehealth services. Telehealth is safe as it limits the risk of spreading disease, it is more efficient with no wait times, it is easy as there is no need to go to and from an office, or needing transportation.
Patients can stay in touch with their providers with access to broadband and the correct devices. Using the right telehealth platform is always safe and secure for providers and patients.
The switch to telehealth requires massive changes, but once a practice starts on the road to telehealth, it is hard to go back to the old ways.
What Can Be Done Through Telehealth
Telehealth can be a very effective tool for high-quality healthcare.
From scheduling appointments online to managing prescriptions and even consulting with a doctor to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan, it all can be done with a telehealth platform.
Because telehealth is so easy and convenient, even more patients will be turning to use virtual healthcare. The flexibility also allows for patients to be more selective when it comes to choosing providers.
Optimizing Your Practice for Telehealth
If your practice isn’t already offering telehealth services, now is the time to jump on board by updating your current practice’s technology.
Telehealth software can allow providers to keep track of electronic health records and consult with specialists more efficiently. This is beneficial and improving the quality of care patients are receiving.
When adding a telehealth platform to your practice, make sure it is user friendly. This means it is easy to update patient information (for staff and patients) and easy to view medical history. The goal is to simplify everything and yet still be safe and secure.
Using telehealth in your practice will increase overall efficiency by being able to see more patients in less time and without compromising the quality of care.
Before getting started, always read federal, state, and local laws surrounding telehealth and develop a protocol. And remember to always keep the staff involved through the transition.
Adding Telehealth to Your Practice: A Checklist
- Assessment – How do you vision your practice to deal with telehealth? What are your goals? Such as increasing revenue, increasing customer satisfaction, or becoming more efficient?
- Meet the needs of staff and patients – be open with your staff and patients about the transition and always ask for their feedback.
- Create a business plan – how are you going to implement telehealth in your practice?
- Talk with insurance plans about their virtual visits policies (the good news, more plans are covering telehealth visits)
- Train employees! This might be one of the most important parts of the transition. Make sure your staff is well trained on the new telehealth software.
Training Your Staff
Your employees need to be well-versed and know all of the ins and outs of the telehealth practice management platform to help the patients along the way.
Areas to be trained in:
Data: Staff should know how to enter patient information, access previous medical records, attach outside records, and know what data to collect during virtual visits.
The last part is more up to the responsibility of the provider. They should be able to assess body language as an important factor to evaluate. Verbal communication is also crucial. Providers should know what to look for during telehealth visits to accurately diagnose.
Patients: Healthcare providers should always keep the safety of their patients as their number one priority. When transitioning to telehealth, review clinic guidelines, and always keep patients up to date with changes.
It is critical that providers and staff educate their patients on telehealth. Patients need to be completely open and honest about their symptoms. Providers on relying on self-reporting for accuracy.
This will help providers accurately diagnose and refer patients to in-person evaluation if needed. Every patient is different and each case is unique, providers and patients need to understand that telehealth may not be the right answer for every patient or every situation.
Luckily, it is easy to improve the understanding of virtual healthcare to all involved with the proper training.
Working with Amplified Health
Is your practice looking to set-up telehealth services? Amplified Health can help you set up the software you need to manage telehealth services.
The software is HIPAA compliant and completely secure. The patient and provider friendly software allows providers to care for their patients at any place and at any time.
Expand your practice with Amplified Health – Your Brand. Your Platform. Your Patients.