In an increasingly digitized world, all industries must keep up with the latest trends to stay in touch with customers—and the healthcare sector is no exception. Find out how Scale Technology can help your medical practice stay up with the latest technological advancements in healthcare.
Virtual care is a rapidly growing IT solution in which physicians and clinicians connect with their patients using videoconferencing. The varied constraints of modern life are leading to patients putting off appointments more frequently, and in some cases, to the detriment of their health. Virtual care offers an appealing alternative, as it allows patients to connect from the convenience of their smartphones. As such, virtual healthcare is quickly becoming popular in the American healthcare system.
The cost benefits of virtual healthcare
Virtual care can significantly reduce costs for a number of reasons. For one, it allows healthcare professionals to conduct patient appointments faster and with a far less rigid timetable. Due to the nature of videoconferencing, patients are also far more likely to attend their appointments, as travel time is no longer a factor. Even patients that might normally forget to attend their appointments can be reminded by virtual healthcare software. Furthermore, emergency room visits can decrease, as patients with less serious problems can use virtual healthcare, thus freeing up the emergency room for those who need to be seen or treated more immediately. Many virtual healthcare services are also 24/7, meaning that patients can access healthcare outside regular office hours. This will lead to lower levels of stress in the patients and far fewer unnecessary appointments.
Other virtual healthcare benefits
Virtual healthcare is also making leaps and bounds in terms of giving patients access to care. When you consider working hours, childcare, and other obligations, it is understandable that many patients struggle to find the time to book or even attend an appointment. These newly emerging technologies in healthcare allow for patient appointments to be conducted during a lunch hour, or even from the comfort of the patient’s own home. This is especially beneficial to those who find it difficult to travel or who are homebound. Patients are now able to share their patient data and have checkups or initial appointments to assess a condition using their smartphone or laptop. In many cases, this can determine whether a condition is serious without taking up much time for either the patient or the medical personnel that assist them.
In 2018, Deloitte conducted a study that showed virtual healthcare at a 77% approval rating. Their research showed that patients of all ages are using emerging technologies in healthcare to make their lives easier. From recording health and fitness patient data to refilling prescriptions, as we advance further into the digital age, so do our healthcare systems. Offering virtual healthcare may soon be a necessity for practices in order to keep up with evolving work schedules and busier patients.
The challenges of virtual healthcare
While virtual healthcare is making significant strides in the American healthcare system, it is not without its challenges.
For example, virtual healthcare appointments must serve as a replacement for costly (and often unnecessary) visits to a practice instead of increasing the overall number of visits per patient. Medical practices can achieve this by clearly stating which medical conditions can be treated virtually and which require in-person visits. Virtual healthcare should only be provided to patients in the appropriate circumstances. Any misdiagnoses from virtual visits as opposed to in-person visits will lengthen treatment time, and as such, increase costs. This risk can be managed by ensuring that patients are aware of whether they need an in-person visit or if virtual healthcare is suitable.
Why virtual care is right for your medical practice
One of the greatest challenges of the American healthcare system is reducing costs to match reduced budgets without lowering the quality of service to your patients. Virtual care will allow you to place a higher focus on your patients’ wellbeing and take medical care to them rather than requiring them to come to you. With easier access to healthcare and medical advice, patients can make the right decisions for their health much more quickly than before. Additionally, virtual visits are cited to cost approximately $40-50 per visit, which is roughly half the cost of a traditional visit to a practice. These cost reductions and mitigations of travel expenses and time off work play a huge role in the success of virtual healthcare.
Virtual care and the automation that accompanies it will allow your practice to treat more patients within the same space of time. This will result in a reduction of wait times within your practice, which will improve overall customer satisfaction for those receiving both virtual and in-person care. As more patients have easier access to the forms of care that are most appropriate for them, the American healthcare system will begin to see a great shift toward better medical care at lower costs.
Choosing the right virtual healthcare provider for your practice
Finding the right virtual healthcare provider for your practice is of the utmost importance. It will help you to more effectively reduce costs, improve patient satisfaction, and free up time within the practice. Whereas working with the wrong provider can cause problems that frustrate your patients and take up far more time and funding than necessary.
In order to find the right provider, it is crucial that you first look at the individual challenges that your practice faces – particularly in regard to technology. A thorough understanding of these challenges can benefit you when looking at IT solutions like virtual healthcare. We recommend discussing them with an IT professional who already understands the possible solutions that can be made available to you.
Find out how Scale Technology can help you
Cyber secure your medical practice and provide your patients with access to virtual healthcare solutions with Scale Technology. We believe in helping your practice grow at a fraction of the typical cost with our IT solutions. Learn more by visiting us online or calling (501) 213-1732 to speak with one of our IT professionals today!