Gyms are closed and running isn’t a favorite for me. So like many other people caught in the pandemic restrictions, I now exercise at home. I watch on-demand video classes that have instructors and class attendees. While one instructor demonstrated a move, he said, “learn it the first time, and own it the next time.”
That’s where we are with telehealth and virtual care. The pandemic caused a rapid setup of telehealth by providers who wanted to care for their patients and hoped to avoid going out of business. On the consumer side, patients had to learn how to book appointments and how to technically connect for a doctor visit. At the same time, many decisions needed to be made about the who, what, when, and how of visits. New workflows nee to be established, training on telehealth software needs to be done, and the visit documentation must make it to the electronic health record and the billing system.
The hurried implementation to meet a crisis is now over. Healthcare organizations had a crash course in telehealth. Now it’s time to own telehealth. How does it best meet the needs of your patients and providers? It needs to be optimized for immediate use and future growth by:
- Evaluating the pros and cons of telehealth software
- Charting the workflows for efficiency
- Determining whether the scope of telehealth should be expanded or narrowed
- Ensuring that you are getting paid by using correct telehealth codes
- Promoting telehealth to your patients and market it to potential customers
Telehealth is no longer an option now that consumers know what it is and they’ve learned how to use it. They view it an expected method of providing access to care. Fear of COVID is the main reason patients stay away from office visits. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t need care. Providing a safe and easy way to communicate and offer care is essential until the virus is under control.
Own telehealth by using it fully to benefit your customers and providers. This goes a long way to helping you win customer loyalty and new customers.