Explore three key strategies for leveraging technology and how Updox can help your practice prosper during the pandemic and beyond.
As the pandemic continues, there’s been a rapid decline in annual healthcare spending as more and more patients avoid care and neglect treatment for health problems.
Altogether, hospitals and healthcare systems lost $323 billion in 2020, and many are still struggling financially while facing increasing real estate costs, utility bills, vendor contracts, technology bills, and employee salaries, to name just a few examples.
Keep reading to learn about some of the top reasons why medical practices are hurting financially during the pandemic — and how key money-saving healthcare technology solutions can help your practice thrive in the new normal.
Why Healthcare Practices Are Experiencing Financial Challenges
Healthcare practices currently face a number of challenges that are putting dents in their bottom line. Here are three of the more impactful ones.
1. Fewer inpatient and outpatient visits
As people sheltered in place and avoided public environments at the start of the pandemic, inpatient and outpatient visits decreased significantly. Unfortunately, patient volumes are still low in the fourth quarter of 2021, which is leading to significant ongoing revenue loss for medical providers.
To make matters worse, all signs indicate this trend will continue into 2022 and beyond.
2. Widespread staffing shortages
The healthcare industry is now experiencing massive staffing shortages, with nearly one in five healthcare workers quitting their jobs during COVID-19. Of those who are still working in the industry, 31 percent are considering switching careers. What’s more, 79 percent of healthcare professionals say the national worker shortage is impacting them and their place of work.
As a result of this shortage, many healthcare facilities are falling behind in their administrative work — and struggling to process payments and insurance claims because of it. Paperwork is piling up, which is making it harder to maintain steady operations and collect revenue.
3. Lack of supporting technologies
At a time when telehealth services are in increasing demand, many healthcare providers still lack the modern tools and technologies needed to enable remote care. In fact, a large number of practices are still playing catch up and retrofitting their facilities with new technologies that enable them to compete effectively in today’s digital world.
The good news is that by making smart investments in purpose-built money-saving healthcare technology, it’s possible to modernize your operations and get to the next level.
How Medical Practices Are Using Technology to Prosper
The pandemic is forcing medical providers to rethink how they deliver patient care and manage their practices. To this end, many practices are investing in healthcare technology to increase operational efficiency and improve patient outcomes.
With that in mind, here are some of the ways healthcare facilities can use technology to bolster their bottom lines.
Telehealth is arguably the most exciting emerging technology in healthcare right now. Simply put, telehealth enables doctors and nurses to meet with patients over laptops and mobile devices in a way that is safe, private, and secure.
By using a secure telehealth platform, patients can receive the care they need without having to leave their homes — leading to higher profits and fewer missed visits.
As the name suggests, broadcast messaging involves distributing messages to large volumes of customers over mobile devices.
To illustrate, a medical provider may broadcast that the office offers both in-person and telehealth visits. They could also advertise a vaccine clinic or welcome a new provider.
This is a great way to communicate with groups of patients and keep healthcare front and center throughout their day.
Most patients are on their phones all day long, giving healthcare providers an easy way to communicate with them. Securely texting with patients is a great way to keep in touch, share updates, send appointment reminders, and reduce no-shows.
If you want to prevent customers from falling by the wayside, you have to keep them engaged. It’s that simple.
This is much easier to do when using a patient portal, which serves as a hub where people can go online to access medical information, communicate with staff members, schedule appointments, pay bills, and more.
Healthcare workers across the board are struggling with burnout from excess administrative work. This is directly contributing to turnover, which is very expensive and bad for morale.
You can cut down on backend work and reduce turnover by using electronic forms, which eliminate manual data entry. As an added bonus, electronic forms demonstrate a commitment to providing a modern and patient-centric experience.
Modernize Your Healthcare Practice with Updox
There’s no doubt that this is a challenging time for the healthcare industry. But your practice can rise to the occasion — and even thrive — by modernizing its technology footprint.
Updox is a great ally as a leading healthcare communications platform that brings together multiple HIPAA-compliant solutions into one secure and user-friendly interface. By integrating Updox into your practice, your team will improve patient engagement and boost office productivity — leading to immediate cost savings and increased profits.
To learn how Updox can help transform your healthcare facility, schedule a demo today.