What Providers May Not Know About The Benefits of Telehealth
Right now, there are articles everywhere about telehealth and how those services can benefit your patients. It prevents patients from exposing one another–and, in many cases, employees in your office–to COVID-19 and other illnesses. Not only does it help improve patient outcomes, but telehealth is also actively preferred by a majority of patients. You may already be familiar with the many benefits of telehealth for your patients–but information about the benefits that telehealth can bring to providers and practices is less prevalent.
Benefit #1: Decrease No-Shows for Your Practice
Over time, no-shows can cause substantial expense to your practice. When patients don’t show up for their appointments, your office loses the revenue. Even if you charge a fee for no-shows, you won’t bring in as much as you would for a patient who comes in for the appointment.
Offering telehealth options for your patients, on the other hand, can substantially decrease the number of no-shows your practice has to deal with. Because you remove many of the barriers to patients coming into your office–tight schedules, the need to arrange for childcare or elder care, and transportation, among others–you substantially increase the odds that patients will show up for their telehealth appointments. You decrease their wait times and make it easier for them to connect directly with you as a care provider, which in turn keeps your patients’ schedules on track.
Benefit #2: Limit Provider Exposure to Infections
In the face of the coronavirus pandemic spreading across the globe, many providers are becoming more aware of the potential infection exposure they face every day. It’s not just COVID-19, however, that can spread through a medical practice in a hurry. Every day, healthcare professionals are exposed to potential infections, from patients with cold and flu symptoms to those with more serious infectious illnesses.
Through telehealth appointments, you can substantially reduce the potential exposure you face with every patient. As a result, you are less likely to get sick–and you can save your protective gear for patients who genuinely need to come in and see a provider directly.
Benefit #3: Telehealth Can Improve Your Work/Life Balance
When you offer telehealth services, you don’t have to go into your practice directly. Instead, you can work straight from your home office–a blessing for care providers who are trying to juggle childcare and other responsibilities with the needs of patients.
Working from your home office reduces your commute time and, in turn, gives you back more time to spend on other things you want to be doing, whether that’s time with family or enjoying hobbies.
Benefit #4: You Can Expand the Scope of Your Practice
Through telehealth, you can offer additional services to your patients. Telehealth often allows you to care for more patients over the course of the day, which means you can expand what you’re able to offer. You may also find that telehealth permits you to offer services that you couldn’t offer previously such as remote ongoing patient care.
Benefit #5: You may feel less professionally isolated when you provide telehealth options to your patients.
Not only does telehealth allow you to connect with your patients in new and effective ways, it also makes it easier for physicians to consult with one another. Just as you can use video conferencing methods to connect quickly with your patients, you can use the same services to connect with other physicians. This gives you the chance to ask for advice, bring in another physician for a consultation, or simply socialize online. For physicians practicing in remote areas, in particular, this is an excellent way to reduce isolation and connect with your colleagues, especially as you pursue more collaborative options that can help add value to your patients.
Benefit #6: Offering telehealth options increases your competitiveness in your area.
More patients than ever are looking for telehealth options. Patients want the convenience of telehealth, and they’re more likely to use care providers that offer it. That makes telehealth non-negotiable if you want to remain competitive. Through telehealth, you can better engage your existing patients and provide them with the tools they need to care for themselves or receive the care they need, whether they need to connect with you to have a prescription refilled or they’re looking for answers about a current condition. Failing to offer those options may leave your patients turning to offices that do.
VISTA’s telehealth solution can provide the job opportunities and the tools you need to connect with your patients virtually, rather than having to bring them into your office for every appointment. If you don’t have a telehealth solution for your office, or if you’re looking for a new solution with experienced practitioners who can help you offer a high standard of patient care, contact us to learn more.