Learn how telehealth solutions help clinics increase patient retention, build a better workflow, improve patient outcomes, and reach underserved demographics.
In response to consistently strong demand, many clinics have already embraced telehealth as an alternative method of communicating with and providing services to patients.
According to a McKinsey survey, 40% of telehealth services consumers look forward to continuing using online services that are currently available to them, and even more expect the development of broader virtual solutions covering such basic needs as a virtual front door.
The benefits of implementing telehealth into a clinic’s regular workflow are immense, from improving the outcomes of patients suffering from chronic diseases to providing a safe way to receive medical services without the risk of being exposed to diseases within a medical facility.
Let’s dive into the top reasons why clinics find telehealth to be a powerful asset in many areas of their work.
1. Improved patient experience
The traditional booking process requires patients to make phone calls or even visit the front desk in person to check if a specialist is available or learn the cost of a service.
Patients can book appointments with a few clicks, even without telehealth.
However, there are plenty of online booking systems that work for in-person appointments, as well as ones that combine online booking with a telehealth platform, making healthcare services easier to access.
Additionally, with telehealth, patients living in remote areas or those with certain disabilities can access healthcare services as easily as those without physical or transport limitations.
Moreover, most telehealth solutions offer additional options for showcasing service categories, displaying pricing, and functionality to reschedule or cancel a visit if it’s no longer needed.
This enables patients and clinics to have a clear understanding of specialists’ workloads and provides both patients and clinics with greater flexibility in terms of scheduling.
2. Secure communication
One of the top concerns of every healthcare provider is HIPAA compliance.
Not keeping protected health information secure can cost your clinic $50,000 or more, depending on the severity of the violation.
A clinic’s reputation is also at risk in the event of HIPAA non-compliance, which is why many healthcare providers consider offline healthcare services more secure.
However, patients’ protected health information can be endangered not only by software that doesn’t comply with HIPAA requirements.
Data breaches can happen when a third party has physical access to the healthcare provider’s notes concerning patients’ diagnoses, health, or even payment details.
Telehealth reduces the chances of data breaches, as there are set protection methods that correspond with the latest HIPAA Security and Privacy Rules.
HIPAA-compliant telehealth platforms use SSL encryption, provide two-factor authentication, implement an authorization option to limit access to sensitive data, and offer many other precautions to make communication between your clinic’s specialists and patients secure and private.
A McKinsey report suggests that 20% of in-person emergency visits could be avoided if there were a telehealth alternative for urgent care provision.
This shows us that telehealth can help clinics painlessly reduce the costs spent on supporting in-person visits.
Of course, this approach will require clinics to implement certain workflows that let patients have an urgent consultation in which a specialist checks symptoms and provides the patient with instructions on how the problem can be self-managed.
4. Competitive edge
Implementing telehealth widens the range of services your clinic provides and makes it possible to assist patients from remote areas where your competitors are not represented.
To cover more potential patients in a wider geographic area, your specialists will need to be licensed in the areas you wish to serve.
5. Improved workflow
The advantages of telehealth make it much easier for clinics to manage teams of healthcare specialists as well as introduce patient management workflows based on CRM platforms and software for clinic management that integrates secure telecommunication, scheduling, billing, task, and patient relationship management functionality.
With telehealth software like ExpertBox, clinics can easily let patients book appointments; introduce automated scheduling; build and automatically send invoices, bills, and feedback forms; manage and share electronic agreements; and support their patients at every turn.
Moreover, team management functionality allows clinics to assign and manage tasks, securely share patient data when it’s in the patient’s best interests, and store resources and notes to prepare for patient visits.
6. Higher patient satisfaction
A PwC survey dedicated to customer experience shows that there’s a gap of 25% between the received experience and expectations that patients have before visiting a healthcare provider.
Clinics that care about patient retention and want to excel at their business need to learn their patients’ expectations to understand what steps of the workflow should be improved to increase the satisfaction rate.
Telehealth platforms can significantly assist in this task, providing the clinic with automated and secure feedback forms that can be customized according to the purpose of the survey.
It’s the most efficient way to learn how telehealth improves patient retention and finds areas for potential growth, boosting patient satisfaction.
7. Ability to serve underserved groups
People living in rural areas often have difficulties accessing healthcare services.
Telehealth is the natural answer to this problem, as it can make regular appointments possible for underserved patient groups, enabling those with chronic conditions to receive better care and get prescriptions faster.
At the same time, clinics can reach new audiences and substantially extend their patient base.
8. Increased revenue
Telehealth solutions improve revenue, affecting different aspects of clinic-patient interaction, helping build loyalty, and reducing no-shows, patient leakage, and scheduling issues at the same time.
With the benefits of telemedicine, a clinic can expect the following in the long run:
- fewer no-shows and late cancellations
- automated refunds and rescheduling
- optimized scheduling and an increased patient flow
- better tracking of billable time
- paid after-hours appointments
All these factors affect revenue, making it possible to provide services to more patients that won’t miss appointments and will stay loyal to your clinic.
Lots of clinics have already implemented telehealth to some extent because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
What’s more important, these temporary measures have transformed the healthcare industry, showing that healthcare services can be provided more efficiently and that telehealth can be the next point of growth that boosts your clinic.
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