Posted: October 18, 2021
Despite how it may feel in public places as of late (fewer masks and crowded public events), the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. In fact, many cities around the world are starting to see new case counts spike.
So what does this mean for the healthcare industry? Well for starters, it means that virtual visits will once again take precedence over in clinic patient visits wherever and whenever possible. Virtual visits are the best way to protect both clinical and hospital staff as well as patients as exposure is limited.
Here are a few tips to make sure your virtual care program is prepared for the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While your virtual care program likely didn’t stop at any point over the past 12 months, your virtual visit utilization may have seen a slight decrease. As your facility prepares to face the next wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and its growing number of variants, it’s important that your telehealth software is up-to-date. This means that your telehealth program is adequately staffed to keep wait times low and that your telehealth platform is capable of handling an increase in new virtual visits.
Now is the best time to make any necessary adjustments such as adding new providers to your platform, adding new telehealth equipment or improving your broadband speed for faster, more reliable internet access.
Virtual visits are a great modern solution for so many reasons, but they will not replace in-person visits when necessary. Proactive follow up is the best plan of action when complications arise such as a virtual visit cut short due to technical difficulties. It’s important that you reach out to your patients via a phone call should a virtual visit drop due to a poor internet connection or a misunderstanding about how to use the telehealth online system or peripheral devices.
Proactive decision making is even more imperative if you are experiencing virtual visits dropping due to complications on your end. It can also be beneficial to utilize a telehealth provider who offers automated patient follow ups whenever a virtual visit is cut short. This will save your staff just a few extra minutes but that time can really add up.
Telehealth platforms are a highly effective way to curb unnecessary in clinic patient visits but they aren’t designed to completely take over all patient care. Your team should have clear processes in place to easily schedule in person examinations whenever your patient's care requires that as the next step.
Beyond scheduling functionality, it is imperative that your Telehealth provider allow you to customize your workflows so you can truly recreate and streamline your brick and mortar workflows. These features include customizable documents, session notes, secure chat and file transfers, multiple system user roles and scheduling flows, pushing live bio analytics, and more.
Telehealth programs have quickly become the new normal. As your facility prepares for the next wave of the COVID-19 pandemic or any other future health crisis, you can count on Let’s Talk Interactive to be there for you as your full-service telehealth partner. Contact us today to get started.