Not everything that stems from COVID-19 has turned out to be a negative. One positive is the revolutionary role telehealth has played throughout this pandemic. Telehealth and telemedicine are not new technology, in fact it’s been around since the early 1960’s! Obviously, what used to be back then, has evolved to what it is now, and telehealth visits are expected to top $1 billion in 2020 thanks to the increasing demand (Coombs).
Consumers have been making the switch from in-person appointments to over-the-phone/online doctor visits. When distance is more important than ever, people feel more comfortable talking to the doctor from the comfort of their homes. This especially helps those who are most at risk and vulnerable during these unprecedented times. No longer does one have to be in a crowded waiting room, they can have unlimited access to the doctor wherever internet can be connected. So, how can your practice implement telehealth seamlessly? Read some of our top tips below:
Send Out a Mass Message to your Patients
The most important part of implementing telehealth is alerting your patients of their options at the practice. Send out a mass one-time message campaign educating your patients of the new physically distanced way to connect. If there is a sign-up list or any additional information about how to schedule these appointments, make sure to include a link or details within this message as well.
Properly Train all Staff
Once the patients are alerted, expect an influx of calls and emails to come into your practice with questions. Make sure your entire team is properly trained so that there are consistent and accurate answers for your customers.
Start with Just a Few Services
It’s important to ease your way into telehealth and test the market to help you determine which services your patients use the most. Start by offering only necessary services that can be properly handled via the internet. Appointments such as prescription refills, follow-ups, or pre-operative visits are some examples of simple successful telemedicine services. Appointments requiring showing the provider something that is going on, or allowing them to listen to lungs and heart, abdomen and internal organs are still better suited to in person appointments, but an initial consult, when not a life-threatening concern, can still be something to consider for a telehealth appointment.
Find a Designated Telehealth Space
Make sure to designate a quiet, clean, and distraction-free zone for you to conduct your telemedicine services. All appointments should be held in this space for a professional and consistent appearance with your patients.Remember that although the appointment may seem different online, conduct yourself and staff as you would if it were an in-person appointment.
Testing 1, 2, 3
Test, Test, Test! Perform several trial-runs prior to launching your first appointment with an actual client to work out all the kinks beforehand. Technology isn’t foolproof, so make sure your client has a pleasant experience by having everything up and running on your end before the appointment.
New technology within the practice is always exciting. If implemented correctly it can prove to be very profitable towards your business and can greatly benefit your patients, especially those most vulnerable to COVID-19.
Want some even more exciting news? Inphonite Telehealth is COMING SOON! We are in the final stages of development and can’t wait to share this new feature with our customers. Sign-Up Here to be one of the first to use InphoniteVoice Telehealth!
Coombs, Bertha. “Telehealth Visits Are Booming as Doctors and Patients Embrace Distancing amid the Coronavirus Crisis.” CNBC, 4 Apr.