How to Optimize Telehealth for a Better Patient Experience

Updox Blog | Telehealth

Grow Your Telehealth Patient Population

It’s a fact. COVID-19 changed all of our lives. 

Consumers like curbside pickup and contactless transactions. And, patients want their healthcare option to interact with their provider where they live and do business. Enter, telehealth. 

For the healthcare industry, the rise of telehealth services was one of the brighter moments of 2020. According to a recent report from McKinsey, telehealth adoption has stabilized and is being used 38x more than it was before the pandemic. In fact, the consultancy expects that telehealth could account for as much as $250 billion in U.S. healthcare spending each year. 

As you think through telehealth as a cornerstone of your operation, you need to think about your patients and focus on doing all that you can to improve their patient experience. Patients are consumers and expect their healthcare to be readily available like their Amazon order. 

So, what are consumers saying about virtual care?

What Are Consumers Saying About Virtual Care?

Though 65 percent of U.S. healthcare consumers were hesitant or doubtful about the quality of telehealth services before the pandemic, that perception has largely changed. To illustrate, one study found that 88 percent of healthcare patients plan on using telehealth services for nonurgent appointments moving forward.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of virtual care to give you a better idea of what consumers are saying about it.

Pros of virtual care for consumers:

  • Maintain social distancing
  • Improved health outcomes with more frequent visits
  • Increased inclusivity, making healthcare more accessible (e.g., to disabled individuals and dialysis patients)
  • Save time otherwise spent driving to and from the office
  • Incredibly convenient for routine check-ins 

Cons of virtual care for consumers:

  • Requires a mind shift in how excellent care is delivered 
  • Doesn’t support every type of visit
  • Lack of human connection, potentially making it harder to develop strong relationships with providers
  • Concerns around the privacy of patient data (according to a recent report, 73 percent of patients are concerned about digital security)
  • Insurance companies might not cover every type of visit

Why You Need to Deliver on Your Telehealth Experiences

“Hey Siri” The machines in our hands make it easy for consumers, who are your patients, to find a substitute for anything if their needs aren’t satisfied as they desire. 

In fact, one out of three customers will stop doing business with a company they love following a single bad experience. In fact, they’re likely to tell between nine and 15 people about a bad experience. 

Since experiences are rapidly becoming the key differentiator in the digital age, you need to ensure you are delivering the best experience possible — in-person or during virtual visits. 

How to Create a Better Experience for Telehealth 

Here are three specific tactics you can employ to bolster the virtual care patient experience you offer.

1. Make a great first impression with technology

No matter what we might like to think, first impressions matter

That being the case, it is critical to invest in telehealth solutions that are robust, easy to use, and highly reliable. 

2. Adjust your approach

In order to effectively deliver virtual care, you may need to take a different approach. 

What worked at the start of the pandemic, may not be your best solution now. Competition has gotten savvier and telehealth options have improved. It is definitely worth your time to study up on virtual communication techniques to develop “webside manner”. 

If you’re looking for some tips and tricks you can use to make sure your next virtual visit is effective, check this out.

3. Streamline communications

At most practices, virtual care was “thrust upon” providers and patients alike. You had to keep your patients safe and healthy and telehealth provided that option.

To increase the chances your virtual care investments continue to deliver returns, you need to research and invest in technologies that streamline communications across all operations. 

With the right telehealth communication platform in place, you can increase office productivity, enhance your patient’s experience and continue to grow your business. 

Ready to Make the Most of Virtual Care in 2022 and Beyond?

Be one of the 38 percenters who have embraced telehealth as a “norm” in patient care. 

For more information on what your practice needs to do to get the most out of virtual care, Connect with a practice management software advisor today.

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