The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant economic challenges for millions. One of the places where it might have very serious and long-lasting consequences is for small and independent medical practices. Fears of catching coronavirus and state or local restrictions keeping clinics closed or operating at very limited capacity have dramatically limited patient volumes for many of these smaller practices. While the restrictions around COVID-19 won’t last forever, financial damage to your practice could be long-lasting.
There might not be much you can do to prevent some of the short-term hardships, but there are things to set your practice up for future growth. Rather than focus on how to market your practice, this blog post will focus on patient-centered technologies that will attract patients. Consumer experiences are increasingly shaped by significant digital advancements outside of healthcare, and people are increasingly demanding the same from their care providers. Adopting this technology before your competitors do will give your practice an advantage.
- Helps you put patients first in your practice
- Reduces medical errors
- Expands education and support resources
- Reduces the total cost of care by eliminating duplicate tests and improving outcomes
Virtual visits using telemedicine software took a dramatic leap forward when clinics shut down for COVID-19, from 15 percent in 2019 and 19 percent in 2020 before COVID-19 to more than 80 percent of visits within just a few months. Patients and providers realize how easy and efficient these visits can be, so while telemedicine visits may decline slightly as things get back to “normal,” the competitive clinics of the future will continue to offer this service.
2: Patient Portals
Patient portals allow providers to communicate with patients quickly and easily online or through a smartphone app. They offer patients instant access to medical records and allow them to take care of small things like getting lab results or medication refills without making a phone call. They also significantly reduce phone calls for your staff, helping to streamline operations and freeing up their time for other important tasks.
3: Online Scheduling
Most medical clinics still require patients to call and set up an appointment—a practice they have been engaged in for decades. Increasingly, though, patients want to be able to view available appointments and schedule online without the need to call during business hours. Phone support should still be important for patients without internet access or who have questions, but the vast majority of scheduling for many clinics can be online. Additionally, implementing automated reminders using text message and email are essential to reduce no-shows and help patients remember the appointment they booked online.
If your clinic doesn’t have these technologies in place, now is the time to get them so you are prepared to thrive as we move out of the current crisis and into the future of healthcare. Talk to AdvancedMD to find out how easy it is to get started.