Digital Solutions for Medical Practitioners During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Before the outbreak of COVID-19, any suggestion that a flu-like disease can bring the global economy to a halt would have been laughable and considered extremely alarmists. But, this is now the reality of the day. What seemed like a small outbreak in a remote village in China has now become a global pandemic in a matter of months.
With global confirmed infections exceeding 3 million and some countries reporting thousands of deaths daily, stringent measures are in place to control the spread of the disease. At the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 are medical practitioners who continue to demonstrate tremendous levels of selflessness despite the personal risk involved.
Due to the strain on health facilities, digital tools are now more important than ever for physicians. Read on to find how you can use digital tools to make your practice accessible while ensuring you can offer health care services conveniently during this critical period.
1.Make Sure Your Patients Can Reach You by Updating Your Listings
To control the spread of COVID-19, different states have put in place partial or full lockdowns, and people are being encouraged to maintain social distance. With such measures in place, you can develop some of your own to ensure you can continue serving your patients.
Measures you can take include revising your working hours and leveraging technologies that are HIPAA compliant to address your patients' concerns remotely. However, as you take up such measures, update all the information regarding your availability and how to be reached. This will eliminate any inconveniences to you and your patients as they will know when and how to contact you.
2. Expand Patient Volume by adding Online Scheduling
Thanks to digital scheduling tools, patients can book appointments online. Reduce the burden on your staff by enabling online scheduling. Once you enable online scheduling, patients don't have to wait on hold for your staff to make an appointment. Ensure you have the capability to schedule appointments for both walk-in and virtual appointments.
3. Partner With Telehealth for Your Virtual Needs
To ensure that your staff and patients are safe, it is crucial to adhere to social distancing rules and provide virtual contactless intakes for both in-person and virtual visits. However, you can take this a step further by limiting walk-in visits only to patients you have requested to come. This will only be possible if your practice partners with a telemedicine provider such as tele-health
4. Keep Tabs on Reviews
For any business today, online reviews are important. If negative reviews about your practice are posted online, patients, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic, will avoid your services. Reviews will show you areas that you can improve on before more patients face similar issues.
With Google, Yelp, and other third-party review sites either suspending reviews or putting sterner guidelines, patients are likely to post reviews on healthcare sites. As such, you should be keen on reviews posted on sites such as Vitals and Healthgrades.
5. Customer Experience Is More Important Than Ever
Due to the pandemic, many aspects of peoples' lives have been affected. Some are out of jobs while others have been forced to close businesses, thus putting a lot of stress on people. Any health concern at this time only serves to pile on the pressure making people less patient and highly irritable.
6. Offer Supplemental Care Programs such as CCM and RPM
Reaching your patients and serving them remotely has become a necessity not only to sustaining your practice during this pandemic and also to generate significant new streams of revenue. Providing virtual care services such as Remote Patient Monitoring and Chronic Care Management is the best way to care for patients safely in-between their visits and earn their trust.
Therefore, your customer service must be nothing short of exceptional at this time to ensure patients get information quickly and in a manner that reassures and calms them.
Think Long term
At this time, optimizing your performance levels by using digital tools will safeguard your team and patients from exposure. However, they are not just a fix for a temporary challenge but will also be invaluable to your practice after the pandemic.