Almost everyone has become accustomed to using telehealth video conferencing in their day-to-day lives since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. Even after offices opened up and travel was allowed once again, many people rely on video conferencing for connecting with coworkers, family, and friends.
One industry that has also embraced video conferencing throughout the pandemic and continues to implement in their operations is the healthcare industry. For many healthcare offices, video conferencing has proven to be a valuable tool in improving patient relationships, delivering exceptional service, and staying connect regardless of the circumstances. In fact, nearly 75% of patients say they would use an online experience when connecting with their doctor.
Here are three ways video conferencing has helped enhance the healthcare experience for patients and professionals.
1. Providing Better Access through Telehealth (Virtual Visits)
One of the biggest concerns in the healthcare industry is simply providing healthcare access to those who need it. There can be a range of concerns for patients when they are trying to make time to see their physician. There could be mobility concerns, especially for elderly patients and people with disabilities. For others, it could be a location issue like living in a rural area far away from any healthcare offices. And, for some, it could simply be an issue of scheduling and taking time off work to meet their doctor.
Regardless of the reason, patient care suffers when patients don’t see their doctor regularly. These challenges could lead to missed prescriptions, poor rapport between doctor and patient, or even missing the early stages of serious medical concern.
Video conferencing provides patients and doctors better access to each other and, as a result, leads to better patient care outcomes. In fact, studies are showing that telehealth options provide better counselling and monitoring of chronic conditions.
2. Improve Appointment Efficiency by Going Virtual
There will always be a place for in-person healthcare. However, not all appointments need to be face-to-face. Many appointments can be completed over video conferencing quickly and easily. This allows patients to get the advice and care they need quickly while allowing physicians to immediately move to their next telehealth appointment. Ultimately, this leads to improved efficiency in the office.
If physicians are able to complete more appointments in the same amount of time without having to move between patient rooms, manage the waiting area, as well as the other considerations that come with in-person appointments; they can increase revenue while giving patients more flexible access to care.
Not only are these appointments more efficient for healthcare offices, they are more efficient for patients. They can save on time and money for travelling to and from the clinic. Instead of taking a half day off work for their appointment, they can take a quick break without using vacation time or taking unpaid leave.
3. Better Education for Patients
With technology, physicians can better educate patients during and after their appointment to help improve long term patient care and health outcomes. When a patient visits a healthcare office they may have many questions, take in a lot of information during the appointment, and leave with limited resources to educate them. Did they retain all of the information from the conversation? Were multiple topics covered? Is there printed materials on-hand to provide for their specific concern?
Thanks to video conferencing, physicians can record meetings for both themselves and the patient to be able to review in the future. There is also the option to immediately share information and content within the appointment. For example, a link to a website with more information about a condition or upcoming procedure can help provide more context and education for the patient. Perhaps there is a video that can be shown to help provide context to the discussion and add a visual element.
When patients can feel educated and have access to the tools and materials they need to continue educating themselves further after the appointment, patient care can only improve. Plus, as many have seen during the pandemic, there can be a lot of medical misinformation floating around. Providing direct access to helpful content can be important in ensuring the patient receives the right information.
Building Telehealth into Healthcare Practices
Video conferencing is going to be an important part of healthcare in the future. Of course, it comes with some challenges and concerns. Namely, privacy under HIPAA regulations. This is why healthcare providers must be vigilant when choosing the platform to ensure patient privacy is protected while providing more flexible care.
To learn more about video conferencing options for healthcare businesses, contact the experts at CDS Office Technologies today.