How to increase appointment volume with telemedicine
Technology has redefined the world of healthcare. Using e-health as the front line of defense while adhering to telemedicine guidelines for the novel coronavirus has brought telemedicine into the mainstream. The goal is to allow physicians to provide care without the risk of exposure to diseases. Vis-a-vis, the patients can receive consultations and treatments while adhering to social distancing through telehealth tips. Although ‘online clinic’ and ‘telemedicine’ might be fairly new terms for you, telemedicine has already been a part of the digital society pre-pandemic. It has been providing patients and physicians secure and easy access to each other regardless of the geographical location.
Telemedicine was well on its way to becoming more and more important to the US healthcare system. The swelling population with longer lifespans was putting a strain on the demand for doctors. Providing public access to remote consultation was a viable solution to this problem.
A research conducted by AHA showed that more than 74% of Americans were willing to use telemedicine services, and more than 76% were more comfortable with access to care at home than going through the entire process of traveling, waiting, and revisiting for aftercare.
Affordable internet connectivity, paired with the widespread use of smartphones, the average patient can receive immediate healthcare solutions at any given time and place. Bills were regularly being passed all around the USA regarding telemedicine, thus allowing more population access to professional and certified consultation.
By 2015, 42 states around the country were introducing at least one bill regarding telehealth.
Telemedicine provides a variety of tools, including online portals, which are managed by physicians. With the growing need for secure platforms to conduct confidential consultations, healthcare providers have come up with HIPAA compliant platforms like SmartClinix. Telemedicine applications have increasingly become more beneficial than in-person practice and continue to provide a wide range of services to physicians and patients.
Implementing telemedicine technology may carry notable financial value at first, but over time it can increase revenue and save physicians money. COVID-19 has shown the significance of ‘healing from distance’, but the benefits telemedicine provides go far beyond the pandemic. Patients have better access to care, improved accessibility, more infrequent hospital readmissions, fewer sick leaves, and many more.
Despite the countless benefits, many physicians are concerned about the effect on revenue shifting to telemedicine will bring. There are multiple ways that e-health will be increasing appointment volume and hence, revenue.
Lesser Wasted Appointments
The increasing medical needs of the general population has made practice excessively busy. In medicinal practice, every minute counts, and each appointment could potentially save a life. However, patients failing to arrive on time at scheduled appointments without rescheduling or any cancellation causes major inconvenience and also wastes the time that could be used to cater to another patient. Online waiting rooms at platforms like SmartClinix help bridge that time and bump up appointments when a patient is unable to join or attend on time.
Whenever an individual fails to arrive for an appointment without calling ahead to cancel or reschedule, this causes significant inconvenience for physicians.
Utilizing Valuable Time and Increasing Patient Flow
Providers like SmartClinix ensure that all your time is utilized to equal revenue. It queues your appointments and schedules them to create a constant flow of online consultations that you can cater to vis-a-vis your real-time appointments.
Telemedicine is also beneficial to patient in-flow. By streamlining consultations automatically, it helps healthcare providers utilize their time to its potential best without wasting time waiting for people who are running late. By delivering satisfactory consultation that is also efficient, physicians will have patients returning and also ensure a future custom.
After-Office Unaccounted Urgent Consultation
It is custom to provide services beyond consultation hours, and physicians might find themselves discussing problems with patients over the phone that amounts to unbilled time. Since telemedicine has flexible hours, check-ups and consultation can be converted into revenue-boosters regardless of the hours.
Immediate Appointments and Increased Revenue Opportunities
With the world working at a fast pace and technological advancements catering to urgent needs, most people require immediate medical care even if it’s for something small. Same-day appointments are a very common request that is difficult to cater to in real-time consultation. With remote practice, it is easier for physicians to schedule patients for consultation as the available free slots automatically add patients to the queue.
Attracting New Patients
The benefits telemedicine provides patients have reformed medical care for them. Telemedicine has made healthcare convenient and hassle-free. Introducing telemedicine into your practice will be transforming your practice by attracting new customers and retaining them in comparison to competitors who haven’t set up their online clinic. Immediate and effective care will be prompting patients to pay more for services since the benefits outweigh traditional services. With secure consultation paired with a wide range of services, telemedicine can boost your revenue by making them comfortable with paying for an increase in prices in return for quality healthcare.
Attracting Different Kinds of Patients
The general acceptance of technology as a permanent part of life has made people more comfortable and more susceptible to accepting electronic healthcare. Running research about the acceptance level of the general population regarding virtual consultation showed that 75% of patients who had never seen a doctor via video-calling were interested in trying out the new experience.
Despite its popularity during the pandemic, telemedicine was well on it’s way to the world of healthcare. The virus outbreak has allowed e-health to make its way into practice and establish a base. In other words, telemedicine isn’t just a tech-savvy solution limited to some patient preference.
Telemedicine is the best way to incorporate technology into medicine and provide more convenient solutions to both physicians and patients. Telemedicine makes the process of scheduling and rescheduling easier and also boosts revenue by helping doctors cater to more patients in a lesser amount of time, raising the satisfaction index of current patients and attracting new ones, and decreasing canceled appointments all equating to maximum billing time.
Have you considered joining the world of telemedicine technology to increase your practice’s revenue and save time? If not, this is a sign and there’s no better time than now to go ahead with it.
Dr. Josh is a physician who's helping spread the knowledge about Telehealth and its advantages. At SmartClinix, he's providing his expertise and knowledge in the form of engaging articles on various health & tech related topics.