People today are looking for convenience and a variety of ways to communicate -- whether ordering lunch for delivery, taking an Uber to their destination or fitting in a quick doctor's appointment during a 15-minute window when their schedule is too busy to leave the office. Fortunately, the options for telemedicine continue to expand, and adoption rates by consumers of healthcare are improving. While many patients still appreciate the personal touch found in visiting their family doctor and the relationships built over the years with your practice, ignoring the opportunities presented by offering telemedicine means you're risking the loss of others who are treating healthcare as a commodity. See how telemedicine can complement your current offerings and increase patient retention and overall practice revenue.
Filling Care Gaps
When patients are busy and unable to get an appointment with your practice, what happens? Do patients simply "tough out" their illness, miss taking crucial medicines or move to another provider with more open availability? None of these activities are good for your bottom line, and are places where telemedicine may be able to fill the gaps and lead to improved retention and revenue. Potential patients are likely to be busy and impatient, and not want to wait to make an appointment, or meekly spend time in a waiting room. Instead, you may find poor online reviews, patients who quietly disappear from your roster or a slowing trickle of new patients should others become frustrated with what could be considered gaps in care.
Telemedicine offers a variety of benefits for your patients: the ability to set a very short window of time for their appointment, no need to leave their home or office location in order to be seen by a doctor and the ability to stay away from a hospital or clinic setting where it's the likelihood of contagion due to exposure to others is enhanced. As long as the technology is working appropriately, the experience may also be better for the health care provider. While you don't have direct access to an individual's vital signs, you are still able to hear and see your patient. Increasingly, traditional small practices are competing against urgent care clinics which are cropping up everywhere. Providing a telemedicine service allows you to maintain more standardized office hours while still providing the flexibility for patients to receive care when needed.
Related Article: Telemedicine: How to Integrate in a Medical practice
Gaining Office Efficiencies
Revenue is positively affected by telemedicine due to the ability to see more patients in a shorter period of time. There is also the possibility of having a nurse practitioner or physician's assistant identified as the primary telemedicine provider, which can free up the remainder of the team to spend time with more complex patient situations. Having a familiar face available on the other end of a video call allows you to maintain a great doctor-patient relationship, while still driving efficiency throughout your practice. This is especially important for individuals who utilize a mixture of telemedicine and traditional in-person visits. Many practices receive a variety of phone calls that pull time away from treating paying patients, which can add up to a great deal of non-billable time. With telemedicine, you have the opportunity to turn these requests into revenue -- without a drastic change to the level of care provided or inconvenience to office staff.
Telemedicine helps support your overall practice revenue in a variety of ways -- patient satisfaction, office efficiency and the ability to turn non-billable calls into a revenue-generating activity. Let M-Scribe show you other ways to improve your operational efficiency while continuing to provide the highest level of care possible to your patients. Contact us today at 888-727-4234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our friendly and knowledgeable professionals will help you determine which services are right for your practice.