In This Together
Help stop the spread of COVID-19 by using virtual visits in your medical practice
As the novel coronavirus spreads around the country, US agencies like the CDC are encouraging people who feel sick to first talk to doctors remotely, by video or phone, to avoid filling waiting rooms with a potentially highly contagious virus.
The $8.3 billion bill funding the US response to the virus opens those remote services to people on Medicare — that is, US adults over the age of 65.
Virtual visits are already a favorite for the younger generations. How would it help private practices serve patients during this pandemic?
What is a virtual visit?
Virtual visits can happen via several different mediums, but all have one thing in common: direct and secure electronic communication between patient and provider. This communication may be through video calls, online forms, live chatting, or two-way text messaging.
How do virtual visits benefit patients?
The largest benefit for patients who choose to check-in through a virtual visit is usually the convenience. Patients who live far away, care for young children, or want to update a provider of their situation no longer need to travel long distances for a simple visit.
But in a pandemic situation, the benefits go far beyond convenience. It helps slow down and prevent the virus from spreading to other patients. Imagine, a patient with a mild condition flu waiting to see a provider was sitting next to a patient that has COVID-19. By using a virtual visit, the patient with the flu could save 20min drive to the doctor and 20min additional waiting, and critically, avoid exposure to COVID-19 as well as spreading the flu virus to others.
Through a virtual visit, a patient can get a diagnosis for a non-emergency situation within a day or two. If lab work is required, the doctor can electronically request these tests and even prescribe medications remotely. This saves time, energy, and the inconvenience of organizing their schedule around an appointment for the patient and gets them important treatment more quickly.
Additionally, the number of trips to the emergency room will greatly decrease as preventative care becomes easier than ever before, saving time and money for patients.
How do they benefit health organizations?
In a pandemic situation, virtual visits allow medical practices to care for patients without exposing them to additional risks by sitting next to other sick patients; importantly, this also reduces the risk of the providers and office staff being exposed to viruses too.
By offering consultations outside of standard office hours, providers open a new avenue through which they can invoice patients.
If your schedule is completely filled for the day, opening a channel that allows your patients to briefly chat with you can benefit both parties. Patients get the care they need and you provide them with an outstanding patient experience, increasing the likeliness of retaining them as a patient.
Today, fortifying a strong relationship with your patients is essential to the success of your practice. The more often a provider can meet with the patient, the more likely they receive long-term quality care. Fortunately, meetings are beneficial regardless of whether they are in an office or online. The ability to connect more with patients is one of the great benefits of virtual visits.
However, keep the following caution in mind before jumping into virtual visits. Virtual visits are meant for reviewing mild conditions and should not replace in-person appointments for patients with serious health problems. Conditions like flu symptoms and sinus problems are common to discuss during a virtual visit, but symptoms that may suggest a medical emergency should always be evaluated in person.
We are In this Together
We are in this pandemic together. By using virtual visits, we can help win the battle with this outbreak as well as future outbreaks in months and years to come. EZMedRev offers a platform through which you can connect with patients electronically. With online appointment scheduling, video call, two-way messaging, file delivery and online payment, communicating with and taking care of your patients during a pandemic is easier than ever before. The added efficiency in your practice allows you to care for more patients and if needed, guide them to ER or other services sooner than before. Better yet, do all this while improving your bottom line.
To learn more about implementing our Virtual Visit service with your practice, contact us today!