Right now it might be difficult to think about how things might change in the coming years—after all, most providers are just thinking about how to stay afloat right now with everything about how you used to provide care thrown into disarray, but now is actually a great time to start brainstorming about the future of your clinic and ways that the current adjustments could actually become a permanent part of how you provide medical care.
Telemedicine & Telehealth
For many years the prospect of telemedicine has been discussed as part of the future of healthcare, but even as recently as just two years ago, fewer than half of providers reported offering it to patients. When a highly contagious respiratory virus hit, and clinics for non-emergency care had to shut down along with other businesses, those who weren’t using telemedicine and telehealth services scrambled to make it available.
One of the surprising things for many clinicians was just how many patients they actually could see virtually, despite reservations about the inability to be face-to-face with a patient during an exam. While there are still limitations to telemedicine appointments, the overall trend toward offering more telehealth services, including virtual telemedicine appointments, should be part of your future plans. It offers a level of convenience that many patients will soon demand, but also expands your ability to see patients who were physically unable to get in for in-person visits—these patients often need more care, not less, so having a virtual option is essential.
If you rushed to implement telemedicine or you haven’t put it in place yet but you want to, it’s important to carefully evaluate what platform you use to find one that is user-friendly, convenient, and can be integrated with other technology in your clinic, like your practice management software and your EHR.
Kiosks & Online Check-in Options
As clinics open back up after COVID-19, many will start using technologies that limit in-person or face-to-face contact with staff, such as offering online check-in prior to an appointment or kiosks and tablets at check-in. Even when the pandemic concerns are in the rearview mirror, these technologies offer convenience for patients, and they streamline your front-desk workflows, freeing up more time for your staff to do other tasks besides check-in.
In part two of this blog post, we’ll cover some additional things that have dramatically changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and why we believe they should become a more permanent part of the way your clinic operates in the future. In the meantime, contact us to learn more about how AdvancedMD can help your clinic move past pandemic stress and into a more efficient, effective healthcare future.